Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky took to the Professional Developer Conference (PDC) 2009 keynote stage on Wednesday morning to bask in the afterglow of Windows 7's successful launch and ask that developers create compelling new applications that build on Windows 7 technologies. He also showed off a very early version of Internet Explorer 9, which Microsoft says will be more standards compliant and offer huge performance improvements.

"The tremendous support behind Windows 7 equates to tangible opportunity for developers on the Windows platform," Sinofsky said. "We're looking forward to the new ways that they will bring Windows and the web to life for all of our customers."

Sinofsky provided some impressive numbers related to the record size of the Windows 7 beta test experience. The company received over 1.7 million "Send Feedback" clicks, recorded over 91,000 unique external devices connected to pre-release Windows 7 PCs (14,000 of which were unique printers), saw over 883,000 unique applications installed on the OS, and had 8.1 million official installs of pre-release versions of Windows 7. (There were over 7 million unofficial installs as well, though Sinofsky didn't mention that.)

Looking ahead, Sinofsky asked developers to target Windows 7 technologies like the ribbon. He offered no timeline for the IE 9 release, but one can reasonably expect a public release before or at next year's MIX conference in March 2010. Microsoft also separately showed off a next-generation version of its Adobe Flash competitor Silverlight