Microsoft Executives Outline Next-Generation Business Opportunities for Partners With New Products, Tools and Programs

DENVER — July 10, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today kicked off the Microsoft® Worldwide Partner Conference 2007 by showcasing the innovative products, services and business models that will expose Microsoft partners to increased levels of opportunity in a rapidly changing market. The combination of upcoming Microsoft product releases and the evolution of software delivery is creating important new opportunities for Microsoft partners to deliver greater customer value and choice.

In their keynotes, Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, and Kevin Turner, chief operating officer, focused on the critical role that Microsoft partners play in delivering innovation and value to businesses around the world, particularly through a software-plus-services strategy. Ballmer outlined four pillars that serve as the foundation for Microsoft’s approach to software delivery:

  • Deliver a consistent, seamless user experience across devices

  • Provide deployment options — on-premise or hosted — based on customer needs

  • Extend development platform and tools to encompass services in addition to clients and servers

  • Support new business models and define the ways partners can increase their revenue and grow their businesses

“Everyone in our industry is rethinking the relationship between software and services,” Ballmer said. “We believe the future is in software plus services — combinations that give customers more options and create great new opportunities for partners. Microsoft, with our partners, is positioned to lead the way.”

As part of this focus on software plus services, Turner announced a partner-led program for early customer access for Microsoft Dynamics™ Live CRM, giving Microsoft another fast and flexible way to address the unique customer relationship management (CRM) needs of each customer. This new Live service gives Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners opportunities to deliver customer value and grow their businesses by developing and deploying solutions through Live, on-premise and partner-hosted delivery methods. More information about Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM is available at

Driving Customer Value and Partner Revenue Through Software Plus Services

To help partners understand how they can increase their opportunities and revenue through the software-plus-services approach, Microsoft is highlighting some of the ways in which partners can monetize the new opportunities, including advertising, hosting, referrals, customization, reselling, consulting, design, development, support and training.

“Our product portfolio, long-term investments in XML and .Net and the diversity of our partner ecosystem give Microsoft a competitive advantage in the software-plus-services era,” said Allison L. Watson, corporate vice president, Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group. “This unique combination allows us to empower people and partners in their roles with rich solutions that drive new business opportunities. Ultimately, the software-plus-services transformation is about giving customers more choice and flexibility in how software is delivered.”

Turner also outlined new partner opportunities created by the introduction of successful products such as the Windows Vista® operating system, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and People-Ready Business offerings. “Every partner aims to be the best at what they do, and Microsoft is here to help them achieve their goals by providing solutions and tools that allow them to provide customers what is right for their business at the right time,” he said.

In anticipation for the most significant Microsoft enterprise event in the next year, Turner announced that Windows Server® 2008, Visual Studio® 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server™ 2008 will launch together at an event in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2008, kicking off hundreds of launch events around the world. As the next wave of innovation from Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, these three products will provide a reliable and security-enhanced enterprise platform, serve as the foundation for the next generation of Web-based service applications, and broadly support virtualization and business intelligence. Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 represent tremendous opportunities for partners and customers, and as part of the launch wave throughout 2008, Microsoft is planning extensive and far-reaching IT pro, developer and partner outreach, including worldwide training, online and virtual events, as well as myriad resources that will be made available in the coming months to help ensure partners and customers are ready to capitalize on the new benefits offered by these products.

Maximizing the Opportunity Created by Windows Vista

Further evidence of the value of the Windows Vista operating system is highlighted by the release of a Microsoft-commissioned IDC white paper titled “The Economic Impact of Microsoft’s Windows Vista Worldwide in the Coming Year” (Doc# 6282007, July 2007), outlining the opportunity being created by Windows Vista in the coming year. The report notes that for every dollar of Microsoft revenue from Windows Vista in 2008, the partner ecosystem beyond Microsoft will reap roughly $22. Microsoft today delivered new tools designed to help partners capitalize on this opportunity: the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 2.0 and the Windows Vista Business Value Assessment. Both are part of a new program announced called Windows® Partner Solutions, which enables value-added resellers, system integrators and managed service providers to deliver customized solutions that meet the specific needs of their customers to help them potentially realize an increased value of up to $130 per PC annually. The Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 2.0 helps partners determine their customers’ hardware and device readiness for Windows Vista within hours, and this new version adds increased network assessment support for up to 25,000 PCs and hardware assessment for the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Also available for partners is the new Windows Vista Business Value Assessment. Developed in coordination with IDC and Alinean Inc., the tool helps partners calculate the financial benefit of their customers upgrading to Windows Vista and is specifically geared toward the midsized customer segment.

Microsoft also reaffirmed its commitment to help partners level the playing field against unscrupulous resellers of counterfeit software through the Windows Genuine Advantage program and highlighted ASAP Software Inc. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. as partners endorsing the program. In 2006 global software piracy represented a loss to the industry of more than $40 billion, according to the Business Software Alliance.

Microsoft Introduces an Easy Way for Partners to Maximize Sales Opportunities

Microsoft today is also introducing a new tool to help partners maximize sales opportunities. Microsoft LicenseWise is a one-stop shop for accessing up-to-date, comprehensive product and licensing information. Microsoft LicenseWise helps partners strengthen their customer relationships through quick access to additional licensing guidance and gives them the ability to assemble and customize customer solution quotes. Microsoft LicenseWise is linked with the Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor to strengthen collaboration between partners and their customers through a seamless, consistent and predictable interaction.

New Resources That Build Partner Opportunity

Microsoft’s Information Worker Group today announced a set of new and updated resources that open up more opportunities for partners that team up with Microsoft to deliver Information Worker solutions. Partner opportunities span solutions built on the Microsoft Office system platform and extend to new products and programs in areas such as unified communications, business intelligence, software plus services and Microsoft Office Business Applications. Key announcements include an updated Microsoft Office Live Solution Developers program, a new Microsoft Office Business Applications OnRamp program, and new Desktop and SharePoint® Deployment Planning Services programs.

Microsoft Makes a Commitment to Help Partners Deliver Solutions

Microsoft’s promise is to help partners deliver value consistently and predictably through one of 13 competencies to help ensure that partners receive the benefits, tools, information and business opportunities that are most valuable to them. Microsoft today announced two new competencies that highlight growth areas and opportunities:

  • Hosting Solutions (formerly a specialization in the Advanced Infrastructure Solutions Competency)

  • Business Intelligence Solutions (formerly a specialization in the Information Worker competency)

More information about the Worldwide Partner Conference is available at the virtual event site at Visitors can watch select keynotes live or on-demand, register to view sessions, and learn more about the news and events coming out of the conference.

About the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

More information about the Worldwide Partner Conference is available on the virtual event site at Visitors can watch select keynotes live or on demand, register to view sessions, and learn more about the news and events coming out of the conference.

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the Worldwide Partner Conference is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at and

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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