Most didn’t appreciate it at the time, but the 2008 Professional Developers Conference (PDC) was an inflection point for Microsoft, a dividing line between the Microsoft of old and the cloud superpower of today. To that time, each PDC had focused on a specific new platform, like NT in 1992 and Longhorn in 2003. And those platforms were primarily both client-based and on-premises solutions.
But with Microsoft evolving over time to embrace more diverse technologies like workgroups, client/server computing, and then web services, its focus likewise broadened. Many Windows releases included both client and server versions, plus other derivatives aimed at PDAs, phones, and embedded devices. And Microsoft embraced the web, and web services, and improved its Internet Explorer web browser to support web standards.