Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), is all set to visit Israel for the third time, shortly after the launch of the highly awaited Windows 8 operating system on October 26.

Steve Ballmer

The software giant’s CEO, has planned a November trip, which will be ahead of the launch of the Windows Phone 8 operating system for smartphones in Israel. During his visit in Israel, Ballmer is expected to attend the events organized by Microsoft Israel at its local development center and will also exchange thoughts with entrepreneurs and developers, as well as leaders of Israel’s economy.

Ballmer’s first visit to the Jewish state was in 2004, followed by a visit in 2008 to inaugurate Microsoft’s new research and development center in Herzliya Pituach. At that time Ballmer said “If you do the math, Microsoft is almost as much an Israeli company as it is an American company.”

Ballmer added, “Israel is an excellent example of the outstanding innovation Microsoft is developing globally. I predict that Israel’s importance to Microsoft as a center of innovation will grow significantly in the coming years.”

Israel is an important market for the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), up till now it has carried out nine acquisition deals in Israel, including the latest one of 3DV Systems in 2009 for $35 million.

The upcoming visit comes at a critical juncture for Microsoft, as it is already under pressure to prove its mettle in the tablets and smartphones markets, and also to attest its innovation in the form of Windows 8 being superior to Windows 7.

At the Gartner Symposium in Orlando in 2010, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, was asked a number of questions about the future of the company.  But his reply to one question took everyone by surprise; the question was related to ‘Microsoft’s current and future strategy plans.’ Ballmer responded by saying that the next version of Windows was the company’s riskiest product bet. That was all that was said on the question, leaving everyone pondering why the next version is that risky. Now after two years, the answer becomes a bit clear, as to why it is a risky bet, because the company’s upcoming growth paths depends on it.