Steve Ballmer, Jon Roskill, Kurt DelBene, and Tami Reller: Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 Day 1 Keynote


Editor’s note – July 10, 2012 –

The transcript below was updated to clarify that partners can earn up to 23 points of incentives, not margin as previously indicated.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ballmer, and Forbes publisher and Innovation Rules columnist, Rich Karlgaard. (Applause, cheers.)

RICH KARLGAARD: That was quite an entrance, Steve. It’s great to be here in Toronto with 16,000 of your closest partner friends.

STEVE BALLMER: 16,000! Really, really, really good friends! Thank you very much. (Applause.)

You know, it’s been a phenomenal year, it really has been for Microsoft. Together with our partners, I think we have done more in the past 12 months to really get out and innovation and delight customers. Our partner ecosystem, I’ve got to tell you, is vibrant. $609 [corrected] billion represented by Microsoft partners around the world, and it grew 13 percent last year, congratulations. (Applause.)

I have to also highlight that our partners who’ve been involved with us in the cloud, something we’ve now been talking about for a few years with this community, we’re growing the number of partners selling Microsoft cloud solutions 10 percent per month, 10 percent per month. We’re adding almost 1,000 new partners in the cloud every month, and I want to thank everybody for that too. (Applause.)

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, congratulations on that. This is really a huge, huge year in the history of Microsoft. You were founded in 1975. Another big year was 1981, the IBM PC. 1995, Windows 95. How would you rank a year like 2012 against those milestone years?

STEVE BALLMER: This is an epic year. When I think about — and I’ve been at Microsoft since ’80 — and you think about the big opportunities and the big products, the important work we’ve had a chance to do, certainly the founding of the company has to stand out.

The PC, 1981, really mainstreamed technology; Windows 95 really brought computers to be open and accessible to people every day. But with Windows 8, this year, right now, right here, with this reimagination, this will kick off what I consider to be the most epic year in Microsoft’s history, and that’s coming off of a pretty exciting year. I mean, it’s a year in which we launched a bunch of new — just the last few months at the E3 show, we showed a ton of new content for Xbox, we showed off SmartGlass technology, we’re bringing browsing to the Xbox, Internet browsing this holiday season. “Halo 4,” we probably have a couple of interested people someplace in this audience in “Halo 4.”

With Bing, we’ve done a major new release that puts social and tasks at the heart of the product. Skype, we finished the acquisition, we’re over 250 million monthly users, and we’re driving hard on Windows Phone and we’ve shown the first pieces of Windows 8 work. Windows Phone, we’ve just announced our Windows 8 product, which will be a fantastic new release for end users and businesses. Dynamics, we’re driving ahead with our Windows 8 metro application. Windows Server 2012, Azure goes to infrastructure as a service, Yammer for Office.

And of course, the thing that really sets us up on the eve of this epic year is the release preview of Windows 8, new OEM devices that really showcase Windows 8, and of course the Microsoft Surface as one of the preeminent Windows 8 devices. (Applause.)

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, on behalf of the beleaguered global economy, I couldn’t be more delighted you have so much cool stuff in the pipeline. And over the next few days, partners will hear a lot about where you’re headed and this incredibly rich pipeline of products. What should people be looking for this morning?

STEVE BALLMER: Well, I think every partner, both this morning and tomorrow morning in the main tent and throughout WPC, there literally is something for every one of our partners. Whether you’re into datacenter deployments and infrastructure, whether you’re an application partner, there is something that will really grab at you specifically that we’ll talk about that’s new at the conference.

But I think the two things that every partner will feel the benefits, the effects, every partner will need to understand and know and really be able to show off their benefits are Windows 8 and Office — specifically Office 365 in the cloud.

Office 365, and we’ll talk about that, I’m sure, this morning is exploding. It’s exploding in its momentum, and we’re very appreciative to the work that our partners have done on that.

Windows 8 is simply the biggest deal from our company in at least 17 years. Big deal. I think it’s a huge deal for customers in terms of the new scenarios that it enables. It’s a huge opportunity, huge opportunity, for our partners. Please note that. And, of course, it’s a very, very big deal for Microsoft. And those will be the two things I think impact all of our partners and I hope that’s clear by the end of this session.

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, I think you’ve answered the question just how big a year this is since your founding in 1975. Let’s start out with Office today. Please join me in welcoming Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft Office Division. (Applause.)

KURT DELBENE: Rich.

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, Kurt, Steve set quite a high bar for you.

KURT DELBENE: He did.

RICH KARLGAARD: A big year for Office. What are some of the highlights?

STEVE BALLMER: Huge.

KURT DELBENE: It has been a great year for Office overall. And it’s been strong across all aspects of the product line. So, if you think about Office, everybody knows it’s now really three aspects of our business. There’s the desktop software, there’s our servers with SharePoint and Exchange and Lync, and then there’s Office 365 as well. And we’ve had strength across all aspects of the product.

So, if I think about Office 2010, just continues, second year of really, really strong performance. It’s the most popular version of Office so far, best in customer satisfaction. 96 percent of folks would say they’d recommend it to others. Really, really doing very well.

Great in deployment, too, and thanks to all the partners for the help in deploying Office. It’s being deployed five times faster than Office 2007. So, great, great performance overall. And stats like that let us say for the first time that Office on over a billion users’ desktops worldwide today. Just a phenomenal accomplishment in terms of Office on the desktop. (Applause.)

Servers are doing really well, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, all growing at double digits, great to see. And also Office 365. As Steve said, really exploding in terms of how it’s doing.

I’d say it’s now been a year since we put out Office 365, announced it and launched it, and performance has been really good. We’re on-boarding a bunch of very large customers. We’ve got Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers, over 200,000 users on Lowe’s, that’s phenomenal.

STEVE BALLMER: That’s 200,000 users?

KURT DELBENE: That’s 200,000.

STEVE BALLMER: 200,000 users in the cloud, just for the note.

KURT DELBENE: So, yes.

STEVE BALLMER: Continue, Kurt.

KURT DELBENE: Phenomenal. Phenomenal accomplishment. We’ve got Burger King, and boy, did they get a “whopper” of a deal. (Laughter.)

And Japan Airlines, who we are taking to the cloud. Get that one? That’s a joke too.

RICH KARLGAARD: I hope they come out. (Laughter.)

KURT DELBENE: They are, they’re coming out a better company overall thanks to Office 365.

We’ve also been busy just expanding out the service. And so we are now — we’ve expanded out the geo-expansion, we’re now in 88 countries worldwide, 32 different languages. And a great statistic there is we now address 4 billion potential users worldwide, and that’s about 95 percent of the businesses worldwide. So, if you want to take Office 365 to your customer base, we’ve got the product that can help you do that.

And then the other thing we’re doing is really tuning Office 365 to specific customer groups. And so about a week ago, we announced Office 365 for education and we’ve also announced a version of Office 365 for government customers also.

So, fantastic work across the board. And the final thing I’d like to say is these are all products where the partner engagement, partners are a key part of our success, and it’s due to all of you all there that we’ve had such another fantastic year in Office. So, thank you very much for all the help that you’ve given to make us a success. (Applause.)

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, if you’re getting Office 365 in the hands of government, you’re doing the Lord’s work if you’re going to make government more productive, so congratulations.

KURT DELBENE: We like to think that.

RICH KARLGAARD: Since there are so many partners in the audience, what have you learned from talking with them about how to address customer needs?

KURT DELBENE: Well, we have learned a great deal from customers. Customers have been a great source of input, they’re not shy. They like to tell us what’s working and what we need to improve on. And there’s really been two things that we’ve heard from customers overall —

STEVE BALLMER: From the customers?

KURT DELBENE: I’m sorry, from partners. Thanks for that correction. Two things that we’ve heard from partners: The first thing is they’d like us to make it simpler to sell the product. And the second thing is, not surprisingly, they’d like to make more money on every transaction.

RICH KARLGAARD: There we go. (Applause.)

KURT DELBENE: See, I told you they’re not shy. So, we’ve done a few things to address both of those, and so I’d like to talk about those for a second.

The first thing, which is a really big deal for us, is we’re announcing today the Office 365 Open program. (Applause.) There you go. And the great thing is it works just like Open does in all the other products that you guys know and love. That means that you guys own the top-level or the top-line revenue. It means you get to bill your customers directly for Office 365, now you’re getting it, exactly. (Cheers, applause.)

STEVE BALLMER: Kurt told me this would be the most popular thing in the morning.

KURT DELBENE: I certainly hope so.

STEVE BALLMER: So I’m glad you backed him up on that.

KURT DELBENE: Thank you very much. And the third thing is it means that you get to present a single package or single solution to customers because you can take your own services and you can package that together with the Office 365 service and say this is your total invoice, this is your total bill for Office 365 plus all that value-added that you guys create. So, hopefully you guys are all excited about Office 365 Open. (Applause.)

The second thing we’re doing is we’re really trying to address the whole profitability piece with improvements to the advisor program. So, with the changes that we’re announcing today, partners can earn up to 23 points of incentives [corrected from “margin”] in the first year alone. And that is up to 11 points more for many, many of our partners. So, really changing things so that as you bet on us, you bet on the success of our products. [corrected from "we reward you with additional margin there."] So, we think partners are really going to love these changes we’ve made, and they’re a direct response to what we’ve heard from them over the past year.

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, it’s that kind of collaboration with your partners that really creates success. Steve, what else can partners expect from Microsoft to help them transition their own customers to the cloud?

STEVE BALLMER: Well, Office 365, I just want to emphasize, will be as dynamic a product as Microsoft’s ever done in terms of new capabilities coming to market. And so in addition to all of the work that’s in market, some of the improvements Kurt described this morning, new capability. We know we need to make it still easier for you to work with customers so they can acquire Office 365 and they can get it initially deployed, and there’s a lot coming on those fronts.

But we’re entering into a broader world of the cloud. We’ve been talking about this at WPC. I remember the first WPC several years ago when we talked about the cloud, I was a little shy with this audience because I felt like it was a push that some people might resist, and yet I think we all know it’s in full force now. But it’s about public clouds and private clouds, and now what we might refer to as hybrid clouds.

And with Windows — and you’ll hear more from Satya tomorrow — with Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure, we’re trying to give you the only seamless environment where whether it’s at the Windows layer or at the Office layer, you get solutions that can be deployed in a customer’s datacenter, in a partner’s datacenter, in the Microsoft datacenter, and have commonality of security, commonality of management, commonality of administration. You can have application components running in different places and have them seamlessly scale, speed up, fail over, et cetera.

And so this big world of the cloud with a hybrid strategy from Windows to Office to Microsoft Dynamics is really, I think, pretty fundamental to our proposition, to our partners, and to our customers.

KURT DELBENE: Absolutely.

RICH KARLGAARD: That’s cool stuff, Steve. It’s hard to imagine any business succeeding today if they aren’t fully exploiting the powers of the cloud, and if they aren’t fully exploiting the powers of collaboration.

So, on collaboration, I want to talk about one of your recent acquisitions that facilitates collaboration, and that would be Yammer.

STEVE BALLMER: I’ll let Kurt go first. Since he just spent some of our good money on Yammer.

KURT DELBENE: I did. I’m pleased to have done it, thank you very much for the support there.

We’re totally excited about Yammer. If you think about it, social is really at the heart of everything that goes on. Whether you’re on the consumer side in terms of how you share experiences, how you share information with others, and growingly, on the enterprise side as well. It is a key element in any — in collaboration and information sharing in the organization.

And with Yammer, we really get a best-of-breed, best-in-class social collaboration feature and product — cloud service that’s from Microsoft. We get a best-of-breed product, we also get a viral adoption model, which allows people to get started super, super quickly. They just give an email address and, boom, they’re up and running on the service.

And then the third thing we get is that incredibly talented team that knows this space super well and knows how to build huge-scale collaboration services in the cloud from day one. We couldn’t be more excited about bringing this team to Microsoft.

There’s huge opportunities in terms of integrating with our products. As you may well know, Yammer actually integrates with SharePoint today. So, if you’ve got a social feed or a micro blog feed that’s in Yammer, you can integrate that into a SharePoint site today.

But there’s also huge opportunities kind of across the product line to integrate Yammer with our products to really make one and one greater than just two. So, you can certainly think of those feeds showing up in SharePoint, you can think of getting integrated into the Office client as well, you can think about integration points with Skype, et cetera. So, lots of opportunities that we’ll kind of roll out a roadmap for that in the not-too-distant future.

If you’re a partner, I’d actually suggest if you haven’t yet played with Yammer, you do so. It’s actually a great collaboration tool for all of you guys to use in your own businesses. And if you’re talking to your customers, I think emphasize the fact that there are huge integration opportunities here to really make Microsoft and all of you the leaders in this space.

And also continue to sell SharePoint. This is nothing but a win for SharePoint customers as we do that integration across those two products. So, huge opportunity, we’re very, very excited about it.

STEVE BALLMER: Maybe I just add. The Yammer acquisition, to me, is really — it’s really fun, it’s really interesting, and I think it will really be one of the big deals in terms of the way we, and you, our partners, and enterprises kind of redefine our relationship. This viral adoption model that Kurt described is 100 percent consistent with the consumerization of IT that gets talked about so much. Instead of a device, it’s a service. It’s a service that the end user can pick before you or we or IT gets involved. But we still have a model that then lets us all work together to make that social network be appropriately secure and private as opposed to have it be entirely consumerized.

So, it offers the best of some of the benefits we all bring today, but with consumer choice. And as Kurt says, in a sense, as we bring more Microsoft content, more of SharePoint, more of Lync and Skype onto Yammer, it becomes an additional feeder system for leads, which I think will be terribly important to all of us as we try to drive our business forward. And similarly, as we surface Yammer in Office, in Microsoft Dynamics, it becomes a critical differentiator versus competition. So, I think it’s a big, big deal, and certainly I’m super enthused that we did it.

KURT DELBENE: Absolutely.

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, at the heart of collaborative work is work itself. And so before we let you go, Kurt, I’d love to hear an update on where you’re going with the foundation for productive work, and that’s Office 15.

KURT DELBENE: Thanks. Well, Office 15 is a very big deal for us. As you know, we went into technical preview in January and it’s really the most ambitious release we have ever done. It’ll be the first time that we will ship our clients desktop software, mobile software, our servers, and our service at the same time. And so the impact of that will be huge.

I’ll have more to share about Office 15 later in the summer, but one thing I can tell you today is the opportunities for partners in Office 15 will be greater than opportunities even are in Office 2010 today. And so if you think about the footprint that is Office, the number of scenarios that we’re integrating into, things like just adding enterprise social and doing that in such a way that it’s a platform for partners to build solutions on top of, it’s an opportunity for them to do integration services. As we broaden our footprint, as we get more ambitious, the opportunities for partners become more ambitious as well and the opportunities grow as a result.

So, stay tuned for later in the summer. I can tell you that this will be, as I said, a better opportunity than even 2010 is, and that this is going to be a huge year for Office overall and with things like Windows 8 coming on board for Microsoft as well.

STEVE BALLMER: I know this isn’t fair since we haven’t announced Office 15, but I will tell you I’m running Office 15 and Windows 8 all day, every day, and I don’t know what it is about the combination but (whistles) really, I’m completely in love. And as you see the product here over the course of the summer, I think you’ll really understand the bold leap forward that Office 15 represents.

KURT DELBENE: Absolutely. Great.

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, thank you very much, Kurt.

KURT DELBENE: Thank you. (Applause.)

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, Steve, let’s shift gears to a product near and dear to your heart, Windows. I hear you are a fan of Windows. As you said earlier, it’s going to be a huge deal. Tell us why.

STEVE BALLMER: Well, Windows is the heart and soul of Microsoft. If you go to YouTube, you can find video of me yelling “Windows” loudly and repeatedly. Because, in a sense, it is the glue, it’s the foundation upon which all of Microsoft is built. It’s a product that’s had a fantastic impact through the work of many, many people at Microsoft and in our ecosystem, there’s over 1.3 billion Windows systems on the planet. We’ve sold over 630 million Windows 7 licenses. And with Windows 8 this year, we’re not just kidding, we’re not exaggerating at all when we say we are reimagining Windows in a way that’s new for silicon vendors and hardware vendors and developers and partners and customers.

And yet, the enthusiastic response that we’ve seen — not without some noise occasionally — but the generally incredibly enthusiastic response has been stunning.

In the next 12 months, most forecasts would be for 375 million — 375 million new Windows PCs to be sold. That’s bigger than any phone or any other single device ecosystem. It is a stunning number. And all of those represent new opportunities as they move to Windows 8. Whether it’s the store for developers, it’s the upgrade and deployment process for other partners, it’s new applications and I just think it’s a phenomenal opportunity because of the strength and health and size — not just of the Windows install base, but of the new Windows system run rates. And this is before you now start to see Windows tablets and new form factors — hopefully we’ll take a look at here in a minute.

We announced our Surface device here in the last few weeks. The amazing reaction — and it’s been an amazing reaction, frankly, we saw to the Surface announcement — I think is really just a testimony to the great new opportunities that Windows 8 presents. Surface happens to be one incarnation, but we have tons of others for software developers, hardware developers, systems integrators, training companies, and all of the other partners represented in the room here today.

RICH KARLGAARD: Let’s talk a little bit about Surface. Two quick questions: No. 1, how the heck did you keep that such a secret? I mean, that one day there wasn’t a Surface, the next day there was. And secondly, how will Surface fit into the Windows ecosystem?

STEVE BALLMER: Well, we’ve been working on Surface for a while, but it’s sort of a story that can only be told when it’s all there to be told. And our team did a very good job, and I think it was important to do a good job. We had to make sure we had really a piece of hardware that was unique in its ability to be that leading-edge hardware that really showed off Windows 8.

So, our team did a good job of keeping it a secret. We may have to keep a few more things secret as we go forward. It turns out there’s a lot of advantages to really being able to work with a little less public exposure than we get sometimes.

But Surface is just a design point. It will have a distinct place in what’s a broad Windows ecosystem. And the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish. We have a mutual goal with our OEM partners to bring a diversity of solutions, Windows PCs, phones, tablets, servers, to market. And what we seek to have is a spectrum of stunning devices, stunning Windows devices. So, every consumer, every business customer can say, “I have the perfect PC for me.”

And we’re excited about the work from our OEMs. We may sell a few million, I don’t know how many, of the 375 million, but we need partners to have that diversity of devices. We’re excited about the work our OEM partners are doing on Windows 8, and we’d really like to show more of that today to you and everybody collected here, Rich.

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, let’s do that. While we’re looking forward and seeing what all the hardware partners are up to and what else is happening with Windows 8, let’s go ahead and welcome Tami Reller from the Windows team to share more. (Applause.)

TAMI RELLER: Good morning, everyone. Thank you, Steve. Thank you, Rich.

Well, this does feel like a particularly important WPC to have the opportunity to talk to you about just that: Windows.

Last year, when I was here, I talked about the success that we’ve had together on Windows 7. We also did share a glimpse of Windows 8. Today, we’ll go deeper on Windows 8 on devices, on apps, and Windows 8 for business.

At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to thank you. Thank you for all the progress that you have made in helping customers benefit from Windows 7. Today, as we sit here, more than 50 percent of enterprise desktops are running Windows 7. (Applause.) 50 percent. Thank you.

And the rate of overall Windows 7 adoption is accelerating. More than half a million desktops per day move to Windows 7 and many of them, as you all know, are moving from XP to Windows 7. And as Steve just noted a few minutes ago, you’ve sold more than 630 million Windows 7 licenses to date. Thank you for that as well. (Applause.)

So, as your customers think about the future, they should have continued confidence that their Windows 7 deployments, including with the knowledge that Windows 7 PCs and the applications running on those PCs will run beautifully with Windows 8.

As I shift gears to talk more about Windows 8, I also want to acknowledge the great work our partner community is doing to help ready the world for Windows 8, amazing work on Windows 7, while you’re hard at work getting ready for Windows 8.

So, here’s where we are on the Windows 8 journey: It is so exciting to see how far we have come since we first talked about Windows 8 publicly. That was 18 months ago at the Consumer Electronics Show. And there, we talked about the flexibility of Windows and the flexibility of the Windows architecture and its ability to adapt to new trends and to really meet user expectations around mobility, battery life, and the ability to connect and get information, whatever information you need, wherever you are.

We announced that Windows 8 was reimagined from the core to work seamlessly on servers, desktops, laptops, and new systems-on-a-chip architecture. And then a few months later, we unveiled the new Windows 8 user experience for the first time. And we talked to the ecosystem about how to build great devices for Windows 8.

From there, we went on to hold the first developer conference for Windows 8, /build//, and we released the new Windows 8 app platform and talked about the opportunity with the Windows Store.

This past February, we released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. This really opened the door for the first time for people worldwide to experience Windows 8 first hand. The momentum with consumer preview was stunning. More than 1 million downloads in the first 24 hours. And since then, Windows 8 has become the most-tested operating system ever.

Windows 8 Release Preview came at the end of May and included thousands of refinements across the product. I hope you’re all checking it out already. If not, I really encourage you to check out the Release Preview.

Before we now take a look at the product and some devices, I’m pleased to share with you that Windows 8 is on track to RTM, or release to manufacturing, the first week of August. (Applause.) And Windows 8 will reach general availability at the end of October. (Applause.)

General availability means that new Windows 8 PCs will be available to buy and upgrades will also be available starting late October.

One more thing. For enterprise customers, you will have complete access to Windows 8 bits as early as August. So, the wait is almost over. (Applause.)

I’m also pleased to share today that Windows 8 will be available in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide. That is unprecedented reach and unprecedented opportunity for you and your customers.

Earlier, when I talked about the Windows 8 journey, I mentioned the discussions we had with the hardware ecosystem in 2011, both at CES and at COMPUTEX. This is very exciting to see the fruits of that work show up at this COMPUTEX just last month where every major PC manufacturer in collaboration with the silicon partners announced new laptops, new tablets, all-in-ones and stand-alone displays. Many of them, many of them sporting touch.

We have engaged with the top OEMs on now literally hundreds of device designs for Windows 8, enabling new hardware that will deliver the experiences that people want most.

All right, so let’s look at just a few. And I only have time and space for just a few of the great devices that partners are working on for this holiday. And, certainly, keep your eyes open for additional announcements from our partners as we get closer to Windows 8.

So, I’m going to start over here with a powerful laptop. This one is from Acer. What I want you to notice about this one is just the clean lines. You’ll see in a moment, high performance. It has an Intel third-generation core processor, and it has things like backlit keyboard, which people love, especially for those people on the go. But, again, just a beautiful design. Very, very thin.

I talked about performance. I want to show you something about the performance. Watch this. Stunning. Stunning performance. This ultrabook enables great productivity scenarios. (Applause.) And as you noticed, touch. Thin with touch, an incredibly responsive touchscreen. So, it’s exciting to see this type of thin, light notebook also supporting touch. Great machine.

So, here’s another ultrabook from Acer. What’s incredible is it’s packing the same amount of power that I just showed in this ultrabook, but in this smaller form factor. And it still has touch. So, thin and light, 11 inches with touch. Beautiful. The two great Intel-based PCs from Acer, showing you you really can pack great performance and touch in a thin and light package. Great stuff.

Now we have two devices from Asus, and they both feature system-on-a-chip architectures. The first one from Intel and the second featuring ARM. So, these convertible PCs, they have outstanding graphics performance and long battery life. And both of them convert easily from laptops with keyboards to stand-alone tablets, just like this, which is perfect for productivity and consumption.

I need you to look and see how thin and how beautiful this tablet is. So, it’s thin and beautiful and stand-alone and functional as a tablet, and then in addition, it docks easily to this keyboard, giving you both the convenience of a tablet and a laptop in one device.

In addition to these convertibles, at this show, Fujitsu just announced today the Stylistic Q702, which is a convertible PC with Intel’s core technology and specifically built for business.

So, let me move on now to this great ultrabook from HP. This is the HP Spectra XT Pro. And it’s an ultrabook that’s really designed for those people who want both style, but they also need all of the substance. Absolutely sleek. It’s thin, and yet this HP laptop comes with all the ports you’d expect from a world-class laptop. Gives you HDMI, Ethernet, and multiple USB ports, all in this great ultrabook. So, power, style, everything you need in a great laptop.

All right, so this type of form factor is going to redefine how users can interact — how families can interact with PCs. What it does is it uniquely combines a frameless display and 10-point multitouch with a widely adjustable screen angle that allows comfortable use in virtually any position.

What’s great about this is you can imagine how this enables creative scenarios. Maybe like collaborating on a game or perhaps painting on a canvas like it’s on an easel. In fact, I want to show you an app called Fresh Paint, which does just that. And you’ll see that this paint engine is amazingly realistic. I’m going to actually use this brush and you can see I can even bring down a touch wheel here so you can see how I can pick my brush, pick thickness, decide on colors, and then be able to just start painting here. You can see the possibilities. You can change your canvas type, so possibilities are endless. So, great device for so many new scenarios.

So, here is another productivity laptop. Again, this one supporting touch from Lenovo. And this is what Lenovo calls the Yoga. And let me show you why they call it the Yoga. So, from here, you get the full 360 flip-and-hold design. And then you are into a tablet mode. So, from Lenovo. (Applause.) Great.

So, here I have a Samsung Series 9. Super thin and light laptop. It’s not only super easy to carry around, but this one has enough power to run virtually any Windows software. What I need you to notice about this one is the over-sized touch pad. So, hopefully you’re seeing that. And what’s powerful here is that this is a thin and light ultrabook, does not have a touchscreen. However, watch what I can do with the touchpad. Simply by moving in and swiping, did you see that? My charms come up. I was on the touchpad and I was able to bring up my charms, just like you would on touch. Same thing on the left side. I can flip through apps. Just like that. Pretty brilliant. (Applause.)

All right. Another Samsung, and this is an evolution of the Series 5 ultrabook. This thin and light PC also does have touch and really gives an immersive Windows 8 experience in a laptop form factor. So, great thin and light with touch.

So, as you can see, a lot of touch laptops are starting to come to market, and it’s incredible to see that they’re still thin, light, beautiful.

So, those are some Windows 8 designs. For those that need a PC today, and we know there’s a lot of people that do, especially for back to school, we have many outstanding Windows 7 PCs from our OEM partners. And they’re all — the ones I have in front of me here, these are all running Windows 7 and they all upgrade easily to Windows 8. In fact, with our current offer, if you buy a Windows PC today, a Windows 7 PC today, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 as soon as Windows 8 is released, a great offer, a great offer. (Applause.)

And we hope, and we do know, that that gives consumers a lot of comfort to be able to buy today and know that they’re good for the future.

A couple of things on these PCs from this just-released Dell XPS 14-inch, but then we also have its 13-inch sibling for a slightly smaller model. The beautiful, beautiful Sony Vaio T, and then we’ve got the Toshiba Satellite, which is a really unique PC for performance, portability, and performance. And all of these, again, are upgradable with the Windows 8 Pro upgrade offer. So, great stuff on Windows 7.

Let me now transition and give you a taste of both consumer and business experiences with Windows 8. So, let’s take a look.

The one I have here, I’m just going to work on a couple of tablets and demonstrate just a couple of the consumer and enterprise experiences with Windows 8.

So, with Windows 8, we absolutely built one experience. It’s personal, but at the same time, really allowing businesses to be in control of their data, and we know that’s important. So, let me show you.

So, here I have an x86 tablet. This one happens to be a Samsung Series 7, it’s available today for purchase. And the personalized nature of Windows 8 is really apparent from the moment you interact with it. You can personalize the lock screen with a favorite photo. And what I love is that notifications like your upcoming appointments, they’re right in view down in the left corner, and you can personalize what’s important for you to see.

Unlocking the screen, it’s a natural and intuitive swipe of the finger or a click of the mouse. The password itself is personal with Windows 8, as you can see from the picture and picture password, and it’s secure.

Once you’re in the Start screen, it’s all about you. It’s the apps that you work with, it’s the tiles that are live with your information, your updates, and the tiles can be arranged just the way you want, grouped the way you want, moved the way you want. However you want. And we know with all the great apps, you’ll have lots of apps, so it’s nice to be able to see that. And then with one swipe, you have access to search, to share, settings, and more.

All right, so we all know that PCs are becoming and really already are very mobile. So, your data, your information, it should be and it needs to be accessible from everywhere. So, every Windows 8 customer will get a SkyDrive, a single cloud for everyone. This is where your important files are centrally available and accessible anywhere and ready to share.

The other thing is Windows 8 also includes services that sync your settings to the cloud. So, they can follow you to new and other Windows 8 PCs that you use.

For example, let’s just say that I want to change the color of my Start screen. So, let’s go from this purple to, let’s say, blue. So, I can easily do that and make that personalization change. And then it will automatically follow me to the other PCs that I have or any other time I log into a Windows 8 machine, even if it’s not one of my own. In fact, you can even see how quickly that changed as it went into one of the other tablets that I’ll be working from.

So, back to SkyDrive. So, even the pictures that I take on my Windows Phone, in this case it’s the Nokia Windows Phone, show up — I’ve chosen to have those photos show up on my PC through the SkyDrive app. And in this case, I took some photos of Toronto earlier from my phone, and then they automatically sync up into my SkyDrive.

So, as you can see from the Start screen, apps really are the heart of Windows 8. They define the experience. They allow you to define the experience for you and make it personal. And with Windows 8, several apps are built right in like mail, photos, news, weather, and Internet Explorer. And you can see those here as I swipe through them.

And then Windows 8 will really come to life through the apps that developers around the world are already bringing and will bring to the Windows Store. So, here, you can see I have some of my favorite apps and I can easily just swipe through and get to all those apps, whether it’s Wikipedia or recipe apps, all of it quickly available and customizable and easy to download from the store.

And businesses can leverage the Windows Store to deliver their business apps and updates to employees, which is an important attribute of the Windows Store. So, it’s really easy to discover new apps in the Store. Let me show you a little bit on the Windows Store. You can quickly browse through and see all stars, new releases, some of the top free, top paid, and you can see all the different categories that we have in the store.

Another common thing is wanting to search. And so right from within the store, we have context-specific search. So, you can go into search. Maybe I’m looking for Fruit Ninja. I can start typing that and there I have Fruit Ninja. And in Fruit Ninja’s case, they’ve been testing a trial version where they let the user try a few levels before buying and once a user purchases the full version, they’re able to go seamlessly to the last level.

And you only have to purchase apps once within the Store, which is a really great attribute of the Windows Store. And so, from there, you can go down and you can quickly see how to see the apps that you already have either chosen or that you have purchased. And so from there, whether you’re on any Windows 8 PC, you can go here and download that same app. You’re purchasing apps once, purchasing apps once, choosing apps once, and there they all are. So I picked your app, and here I’m able to quickly see the apps that are mine from any PC.

We’ve also made apps simple to build and develop with tools you know using a wide range of developer languages. Today I’m also pleased to announce that with RTM, the commerce engine for the Windows Store will be live rewarding all those app developers who have been so dedicated in providing feedback and building great reference apps. So, when Windows 8 launches, there will be apps for everything I want to do, whether it’s playing games, watching movies, reading news, productivity, all the apps in the Windows Store. But until then, please do check out all the apps that are coming in every day as part of the Release Preview.

All right. So, in the introduction I talked about Windows 8 being business ready. Windows 8 is a great fit for businesses of all sizes. Windows 8 delivers new capabilities for IT. It enables developers to use their existing tools and resources to build apps. And it makes it easier for employees to find the apps, the people, and the content to help them be more productive. Great for IT, great for developers, and great for employees.

It also builds on what’s great about Windows 7, while at the same time providing this modern platform, a modern platform designed for a new generation of hardware. We also are seeing Windows 8 improve upon the Windows 7 fundamentals, speed, reliability, and security, and it works well side-by-side with existing Windows 7 infrastructure. And we also think that businesses are going to like having a choice of form factors, and a choice of architectures.

So, with that in mind, I wanted to show you Windows RT running on an ARM tablet. So, in this case, I’m going to show you Windows RT running on a Qualcomm device. Windows RT is a new member of the Windows family, and it offers a high degree of commonality and shared code with Windows 8.

So, let’s take a look. This is a developer device. And, in fact, we’ve talked about these developer devices in our blog. And this developer device is from Qualcomm, and it’s running Windows RT. Thousands of these Qualcomm devices, just like what I’m holding in my hand, are in use across the Microsoft ecosystem every day. So, they’re running real code, and they’re testing real scenarios, and they’re making the system better.

What Qualcomm did is they built a version of their silicon, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 designed just for Windows 8. And we also have a similar relationship with Texas Instruments and NVIDIA, as well as the long-standing relationship with AMD and Intel of course. Windows RT we think will add to the choices that enterprise customers have thin, light, sleek, long battery life. And we think these devices will be great for companies that allow employees to bring their own devices to work, but still in a secure and managed way.

I just want to show you how fast and fluid, and how the experience really looks and feels just like what we’ve been looking at with the other Windows 8 devices. You can see I’m just flipping through apps, and just like its Windows 8 x86 equivalent, you can install your own LOB app on a Windows RT tablet.

And I wanted to show you just one example of what one customer is building, and this one also has a great name, so let’s go to this app. This one is called The Ultimate Beer Ranger. So, if you have a good name for an app, that sounds like a good one, The Ultimate Beer Ranger, it’s a custom line of business app, and it’s from New Belgian Brewing Company.

What they have, the scenario is, they have a group of employees called Beer Rangers, and their job is to stay in contact with their customers. And this app is built on top of, as a front-end to, Dynamics CRM. And so as you can see from this Live Tile, I have four appointments that show up on the Start screen, so I can see what’s going on. I go into the app, and I can see my schedule for the week. I can also then go into a specific appointment, a specific customer, and there I’m going to get sales, and contact information.

If I want to create a new appointment, everything is activated, so I can quickly create a new appointment. This app in particular also uses location services that are built right in. Location Services is built right into Windows 8, and so this app takes advantage of that. And it allows me through one touch of this button to see the customers that are around. So, maybe I want to go and do some multitasking while I’m at this customer, so I can see all of that. So, just one example of the types of apps, and of the many apps that are being contemplated and planned and built around Windows 8, so not only on the consumer side but in the line of business side.

Windows 8 really does offer the convenience of a tablet with the productivity of a PC, and customers are telling us that these really are the types of business tablets that they’ve been waiting for. It gives the experience that employees want, and yet the manageability and the security that businesses need.

The Windows 8 tablets are a great way for businesses to support their mobile workers, but there’s one other feature that I also want to talk about for mobile workers and for other scenarios and that’s Windows To Go. So, with Windows To Go, you can pack your entire managed corporate desktop and bring it along on a small, bootable USB drive wherever you go.

This has Windows 8 and it has my own personal data. So, right here, this is Windows 8, all right. So, I’m actually going to plug this into, let’s call this a previous generation PC. I think that’s safe to say. And let me go ahead and restart here. Really, the beauty of this is it’s like having your secure corporate desktop in your pocket.

So, the stick that I just plugged into this Windows 7 PC is actually a 32-gigabyte USB stick and it’s provisioned, of course, with Windows To Go, a fully managed corporate environment running Windows 8 enterprise right off the USB stick. So, this PC could be another corporate PC, or maybe it’s a PC I have at home to really support that mobile work. The stick has been provisioned by the IT department. It has direct access. It has the company apps and it has BitLocker.

So, now I’m booting into Windows 8 and remember this is a Windows 7 machine and it’s booting up in Windows 8. It takes full advantage of the resources on the system, like the memory and the CPU, and it still has USB ports and other things that you would expect on this PC. But, it really is its own self-contained Windows installation that’s separate from the data on the internal drive of the system. That way it’s protected and secure. So, IT departments can do full provisioning and make all of that work for employees who need to work at home, and you can really take more advantage of the PCs that you have in your location. And there it is, there’s Windows 8, yes. (Applause.) And just like that I’m in. Windows 8 on this previous generation laptop, desktop. There it is, terrific.

All right. So, I do hope this short demo gave you a good understanding, or at least the start of an understanding of how Windows 8 is great for business and business ready. And the broad, broad improvements we’ve really made in Windows to make not only IT’s job easier, but to make Windows a great experience for all employees. So, I really want to thank you so much for this opportunity to update you on Windows 8’s progress. Together with all of you and the entire Windows ecosystem, let me just say, we are so excited, so excited to bring Windows 8 to market new devices, many new apps, and new experiences for customers.

Thank you so much and have a great WPC. Thank you. (Applause.)

STEVE BALLMER: There’s a lot of love in that Windows 8, I’ve got to say. I think there’s a lot that we can do, there’s a lot that you can do, and most importantly there’s just a ton our customers will do to really drive forward with the incredible capability packed into the Windows 8 platform. Before we get back to questions, there’s one more thing we’d like to show, just one more thing, one more new device, new experience in the Windows 8 family, we’re going to announce today you’ll see a press release that says that we’re acquiring a company called Perceptive Pixel.

Perceptive Pixel is a leader in large-scale multitouch and stylus displays. And when you couple the PPI large touch and stylus displays with great PCs from our OEM partners, it really opens up new possibilities for business, for education, for productivity, for learning and for collaboration. And I’ll tell you, we’ve got a lot of work to do to bring the prices down, they have to be more accessible and more affordable. But, we do want to show you the work we’ll be bringing to market from Perceptive Pixel. And to do that today please welcome on stage Jeff Han, founder of Perceptive Pixel, and a new Microsoft employee.

Jeff. (Cheers and applause.)

JEFF HAN: Wow. Can you hear me?

Wow, thanks so much, Steve. I am absolutely thrilled to be here, live in person, in the context of this morning’s announcement between our two companies. I founded Perceptive Pixel a little over six years ago specifically with the mission to see how advanced technologies like multitouch, like stylus, like gestures could specifically benefit the knowledge worker, how these technologies, how these rich experiences could actually help us get real work done.

Now, when you think of productivity what do you think of? Do you think of things like meeting rooms, conference rooms, workstations, whiteboards, Post-it notes up on a wall, ideation, design, all these things revolve around larger surfaces. Now, it’s no surprise then if you look back at our rich history of products that they’ve all tended to congregate around larger displays, like this one. This is actually our flagship product is this 82-inch, world’s largest true multitouch and stylus display in the world. It’s been shipping for about a year now.

It is really incredible. The largest display you could get, that’s why we made it 82 inches, full HD, handles hundreds of multitouch points at the same time. It’s truly unlimited. It also covers the world’s largest piece of gorilla glass, 82-inch diagonal, 2-millimeters thin, that means it’s really rugged like this, which is great for enterprise scenarios, but also means you can actually really feel like you’re actually touching the graphic on the display. So, it’s a real enterprise-class experience.

This is, of course, connected. There’s an HP workstation behind there connected, it could be, of course, any other business-class PC. And because of that it runs Win 8, and that’s what’s awesome. Let me just show you by being able to log in and use my picture password here and be able to, of course, just see the Windows 8 Start screen.

Now, just before we get started, it is so cool how the Windows 8 design language, the metro design language just works as is. It scales not just for your mobile device and your slate device, but all the way up to the wall-sized device just as is. It’s really a remarkable design. You can see just on its own, I love having this in my office, just as an ambient information appliance. You can see all the Live Tiles rotating, updating. I can see my stocks. I can see the news. I can see the Wimbledon results. I can see a great little information kind of display here, that’s just great to have running. Of course, because it’s Win 8 all the Win 8 apps just work as-is.

So, of course, I can bring up maps and look at how nice and fluid this interface is. It really is an incredibly fluid and rich experience. You can see how nice it is. And again, just exactly the same apps you’re used to, that we just saw up there with Tami, but the experience just becomes something even better when it’s on a large screen like this. It’s the same apps, not just having a personal consumption device, but something that, indeed, I can use collaboratively for an audience like this.

Of course, I can bring up a browser and it’s great to see how great Internet Explorer, again, has really been reinvented from the ground up to be touch, and have all this great sub-pixel rendering. I can bring up other sites, as well. It’s really exciting to see this kind of thing. It really changes your mind about how you can actually use these kinds of devices for doing presentations, for collaborating, and for actually presenting information to a wide audience.

It’s a great large display, of course. So it’s always great to be able to show video. It is nice to have one of these in the office and to be used as replacements for anywhere you might actually have a conference, or a projection screen. It’s nice. We will have one of these in our offices very soon. So, of course, what’s great about it being Windows is, of course, all your normal desktop applications just work out of the box.

For instance, I can bring up OneNote here, and OneNote is great, it’s our digital note-taking tool, and it was originally designed for slate devices. What’s really amazing is how well OneNote, on its own, just works with large devices like this. So, it’s really cool to be able to take notes and be able to mark this up, and let’s say, we have one of these in our office and we’re together doing a project overview, and of course, I can just instantly start marking this up and say, yes, that’s good, that’s good, this is what I want to focus on here, this is really important.

Now, you notice, OneNote just works great right out of the box. But, it’s not just pen enabled, it’s also touch enabled. That’s what’s really cool. I can actually just use touch and be able to not just mark this up, but indeed start a new ideation session here and be able to just work seamlessly between manipulating content and being able to author it, as well. It’s really compelling. It’s really profound, because we’ve seen touch devices before. Touch is great for content manipulation, but it’s not so great for content authoring. The stylus is fantastic for that.

But, there are very few devices that actually have both simultaneously and it’s really profound to be able to do both at the same time, because I literally have one hand allocated to the authoring function and my other hand, the non-dominant hand, to the manipulation function. And that it’s shown that it’s quite a great division of labor mentally, so much so that this interface starts actually disappearing, and I actually start getting immersed, not so much in the fact that it’s a computer or display, but that I’m actually just working naturally on my data, or on my content. So, it’s really, really exciting.

Of course, we can just use this purely as a digital whiteboard. All this stuff just works out of the box like that. It’s very exciting. Now, collaboration isn’t just collocated like this. It’s also a standard part of business nowadays to, of course, have remote collaboration going. So, Lync, of course, just also works right out of the box. I can click and start a meeting like this and for the sake of time I want to go ahead and do that. But, it’s very important to understand the different types of collaborations that are going to be possible with devices like this.

So, I’ve shown you the most advanced touch hardware on the market. I’ve shown you how it just runs Win 8 out of the box. I’ve shown you how all the Office apps just work as is. We at Perceptive Pixel have, of course, been investigating some even more interesting scenarios that could complement the Office applications. So, let me show you one of those right now.

This is an application that we call Storyboard. It was designed for users to be able to make a really quick ad-hoc presentation out of your existing assets. You can see it’s a very touch-friendly interface like this. Let me just tap on one of these to get going. You can see what I’ve done here is already imported a lot of my PowerPoints, some of my brochures, some photos, some documents out here. And what I can easily just do is press play and, of course, be able to have a nice, touch-friendly experience to actually go through my slide deck like that. It’s very nice.

These are all live actual data types as well, so these are embedded maps, and other rich types like that. Here’s our manufacturing facilities over in Portland. We actually do all of our manufacturing here in the U.S. It’s very, very exciting. Now, what’s really cool, though, is  (applause)  thank you. We really have a rock star set of teams that really manufacture stuff from the ground up.

Now, what’s really cool is, of course, I can always just random access and decide to jump to another point in my presentation. And we want to go a little bit further than that. How many times have you actually had to go do a presentation and you have backup slides? Well, I always do, and the reason for that is that you actually want to be reactive and responsive to how your audience is actually being engaged. So, one of the really cool parts about Storyboard is this node here, where I can actually show a flow graph, and make a nonlinear presentation here. So, for instance, what I can do is, all right, starting from here and maybe after this I actually want to branch up there depending on if I need to at the time or not, and be able to actually have a nonlinear access. So, again, when I press play instead of just going here or here, I can decide to actually have maybe much more multimedia rich presentation, or I can say, no, actually people want to dive a little bit more into some of the election work we’ve been doing. This is familiar stuff to you guys, and we actually are quite well known for transforming the way broadcasters have broken down the election. Or maybe I can jump into some of our more researchy work that we’ve done. Innovation in pen and touch is really going to be the next big thing. Or I can dive into perhaps some of our more technical research papers that we’ve published. So really amazing versatility in a device like this to be able to really transform the way we actually work and present in an office setting.

So, I’m just showing the tip of the iceberg here. I’m really, really excited about some of the new things we’re working on, and how it’s going to be integrated into future versions of Office. I’m also super-excited about how much aggressive energy we’re going to spend in getting this kind of hardware down to much more acceptable levels, because really there’s no reason why a device like this shouldn’t be in every conference room, in every office, in every classroom. Thanks so much for having me.

(Applause.)

RICH KARLGAARD: Thank you very much for that, Jeff. That is one amazing piece of hardware.

You know, Steve, when I look at something like that, all of a sudden it occurs to me that your acquisition of Skype and all the pieces coming together for collaborative work, and long-distance work are suddenly making a heck of a lot of sense. So talk a bit in your own words about why this device, and Microsoft make so much sense together?

STEVE BALLMER: I think you get a little bit of a sense in Jeff’s demo. It really is fairly revolutionary to couple these very large surfaces, no pun intended, in a room where some people are remote, some people are physically present, where everybody has a Windows 8 tablet, where you can share and roam all of the documents, all of the markups that Jeff put down, you can get that automatically replicated to other machines, to the systems that people have in their laps, and in a sense it changes the way you work quite dramatically.

I put one of these in my office about four months ago, and I’ll tell you it’s really unbelievable. The whiteboard is gone. It is the videoconference system. I can do Skype and Lync sessions off that until the cows come home. We can screen share, we can do everything else. The ability to have everybody have a copy of the notes from the meeting, the diagrams, people aren’t sitting there taking little pictures, and blah, blah, blah. I mean, it’s phenomenal. It is phenomenal what it enables.

And in a sense, you can say, yes, but it’s just a Windows 8  it’s just a very big Windows 8 tablet. But you ooh and aah. When was the last time a map zoom got that kind of ooh, but it does when you put it in 81 inches.

So, a great, talented team, super technology, our challenge, of course, is to do two things. No. 1, to make that technology more affordable and mainstream. PPI has been selling those boards at about $80,000 a unit. Moore’s Law is really going to bring the prices on those down quite dramatically, so they become affordable in conference rooms, hopefully in classrooms, even in offices on a much more broad-scale basis. But we have to work on affordability and accessibility. And we’re excited about what we can do together.

I think the combination of Windows 8, the PPI technology, will really open up opportunities for all of our partners to create innovative, mainstream solutions, and particularly when you couple it with the kinds of new applications that Jeff just showed you in prototype form, I think what he and you will be able to do together for our business and education customers is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

RICH KARLGAARD: Well, rapid collaboration really is the key to success in this tough economy. It’s a tough economy, but the people who get it and learn how to collaborate and do things fast, and rapidly prototype, as you can do with that, are going to do well whatever the economy does. So, I kind of want one on my own conference wall.

STEVE BALLMER: Deal.

RICH KARLGAARD: But I’m waiting for the Moore’s Law to bring it down.

Steve, do you have any wrap-up final thoughts?

STEVE BALLMER: Yes. I would just say a couple of things just to end. I want to start by reiterating the very first thing I said, which is to tell everybody in this room thank you. This is now over 15 years we’ve been doing the Partner Conference.

It’s not working, not a lick, is it? And nobody noticed. (Laughter.) Is this one working? Is that working? No. Let’s try one more? Somebody thinks it’s working. How’s that one? All right. I want to reiterate what I said at the start. (Laughter.) Did it cut out again? I want to reiterate what I said at the start. (Laughter and applause.) (Off mike)  does that help? OK. (Laughter.) I’m glad we live in a high tech world.

I want to reiterate what I started with, which is thank you. Fifteen years, 15 years we’ve been doing what, we’ve been doing these partner meetings, 15 years. (Cheers and applause.) And I said it then, and I’ll say it today, all of the business that we derive we build in conjunction with our partner community, really bringing the hardware, the software, the services that we build to life for our customers, it only comes about in your hands.

And I can tell you, our partners, that this year, this year, is the most important year. It’s a year of unparalleled opportunity. It really is. I can’t really quite dimensionalize that. But, as I said earlier, I know that. All my time at Microsoft, the founding of Microsoft, the launch of the PC, Windows 95, and Windows 8, the chance to strike, the chance to make a difference, the chance to build your businesses, the chance to grow, the chance to impress people, our customers, with things that they just say, wow. My business is better for the work that we did together. This year is really unparalleled. It’s Windows, it’s Windows Phone, it’s Windows Servers, it’s Windows Azure, and it’s Office. It’s the core of Microsoft reinventing itself for a modern era.

And between what you’ve seen in Windows 8, what you’ve seen in the new Windows 8 devices and are still to see, and what you will see in Office 15, this will be the best year ever, ever, ever to be a Microsoft partner, to get out there and really make a difference in a world with consumerization of IT and everything else, you will be the leaders in helping our joint customers figure out how to navigate those waters, you will compete more successfully with the guys who present trouble for us every day. You’ll have the tools to go up against anybody, in the datacenter, on the desktop, and in people’s hands, this is the year for all of us. Let’s take advantage of it and let’s succeed together.

Thank you. (Cheers and applause.)

Thanks, everybody.

RICH KARLGAARD: All right. Thank you, Steve.

STEVE BALLMER: Jon, it’s back to you.

JON ROSKILL: Thanks, Rich. A big hand for Steve and Rich, as well as Kurt, and as well as Tami. (Cheers and applause.)

What a morning we had, wow. Windows 8 and one of the things that I hear from partners more than anything else when I go out and meet with you is you tell me you need dates, so you’re able to plan your activities around us. So, you’ve now got dates for Windows 8 and you heard it here first.

Perceptive Pixel, 82-inch touch screen, is that thing amazing or what? It’s going to be the hottest tech item at Christmas, I guarantee you. You should see, Steve’s got one on the wall in his office and he’s using it all the time. He’s the biggest fan of the thing. And then I want to hit again on Office 365. Since I took this job two years ago it is the No. 1No. 1 thing that you have been asking me for, to give me a version of Office 365 that I can sell along with the rest of my services, and that I can recognize that top line revenue. So, we brought that to you, but we are absolutely staying strongly behind the other ways of going to market with Office 365 and our cloud offerings, whether that’s syndication, or advisor, what we’re doing with SPLA and our hosting partners, et cetera. So, basically, we’ve filled it out so we’ve got the most complete set of partner go to markets around the cloud, anyone in the industry.

So, that’s it for day one in the morning, a fantastic morning. Go off, great afternoon scheduled ahead of you, and I will see you tonight at 5:00 at the partner reception. Have a great afternoon everyone.

END