By Mary-Jo Foley and Gavin Clarke

First, he has to stand before thousands of Microsoft partners at his company’s annual partner conference - next week - a convince them to believe in the roadmap and evangelize them into selling more of Microsoft’s products and services.

Then, he’ll try to persuade Wall St types at Microsoft’s annual financial analysts’ meeting he’s on the right course and they should invest in Microsoft’s stock.

It’s crucial noting goes wrong, and that every single event gives the impression of calmness and execution under competitive pressure.

Alas, June ended with Microsoft killing its KIN phone - hyped as re-inventing the smart phone and nailing the smaller, trendsetter Apple - just six weeks after the phone’s high-profile launch and that details on the successor to Windows 7 - Windows 8 - escaped with Microsoft in full swing trying to sell Windows 7.

Windows 8 and life after KIN - Ballmer's hot summer • The Register