Live Blog: Microsoft WPC 2013Live Blog: Microsoft WPC 2013
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC13) has started in Houston. The VAR Guy is closely tracking Surface tablet, Office 365, Windows 8.1 and Windows Azure cloud computing news for partners. Stay tuned to this live blog.
July 8, 2013
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC13) has started in Houston. CEO Steve Ballmer says Microsoft (MSFT) partners generated $650 billion in revenues last year with a 6.5 percent growth rate. The VAR Guy is closely tracking Surface tablet, Windows 8.1, Office 365 and Windows Azure cloud computing news for partners. Stay tuned to this live blog.
Anticipated Keynotes Include…
Recap: CEO Steve Ballmer:
On WPC’s Importance: “This is the group [partners] that cares most and has the most at stake in terms of what we’re doing with the products.”
On Partner Commitment: “We started our partner program about 20 years ago. It became absolutely obvious to us that we needed to scale out our technology and make it something bigger and better.”
“We want to build business together.”
On WPC Impact: 15,000 partners are on hand at the conference. “I have a simple message of Thanks. Thanks for your support, thanks for your good work and thank you for taking good care of our customers every day.”
Launches/Milestones: Ballmer pointed to key product launches and milestones over the past year — Office 365, Azure, Dynamics CRM, Windows Server 2012 and more. “It took us awhile to deliver IaaS in Azure, but we delivered it and you have really embraced Azure.”
Windows 8 Recap: “It was the year of 8 — Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. It was nothing short of the most remarkable re-platforming of Windows since 1995.”
On Windows 8 Industry Reaction: Ballmer quipped: “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on Windows 8…” before adding, “I think we’ve done a heck of a job on Windows 8 and we’ll spend a lot of time talking about Windows 8.1 here because we’ve listened and we’ve learned… I think you’ll be incredibly impressed with Windows 8.1.”
Windows 8 Phones: “There are no phones better in the market than phones with Windows 8.” Ballmer than quipped, “I say that with all the objectivity of the CEO of Microsoft. It’s unbelievable how objective I am on the topic.” He pointed to Nokia’s innovation with Windows 8 phones as well.
The Cloud: “There will be more new things coming to market that you can mobilize and create value for your customers every year.”
Microsoft’s Transition: The company has spent the past year shifting from a software company to a world of devices and services. “I’ve been saying this at our partner conferences for awhile,” said Ballmer. “Software development is still the most valuable skill anyone on the planet can have.” But the way it’s packaged and presented has changed to new devices and cloud services. We are determined to have Windows define new classes of devices: Tablets, phones, 2 in ones, living room devices.”
Partners’ Role: “We need partners to come with us on this journey. There’s a place in this journey for all of us.”
On the Minds of Microsoft’s customers: “Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, Social.”
Mobile: “I want you to understand just how rich our mobile offering has become. Both in terms of Windows devices and non-Windows devices.”
Cloud: “There’a lot of pressure on us to make sure we have world-class, scaled, low-cost, low-latency, high-bandwidth infrastructure across the world. Azure is being battle-tested on our own first-party applications. And the infrastructure is there for you to deliver solutions to your customers. We have something over 1 million servers in our data center infrastructure. Google is bigger than we are. Amazon is a little bit smaller. You get Yahoo and Facebook — and then everybody else is 100,000 units or less.”
Public cloud: “The number of companies that really understand how to…build public cloud is very small.”
Hybrid cloud: “The number of companies at the same time seriously investing in the private cloud and these hybrid clouds is just one. And that’s us.”
Single Partner?: 63% of companies want a single vendor that can offer public and private cloud, Ballmer said without mentioning the source. “We think we are the best and only company that can provide that,” asserted Ballmer.
Office 365 is the fastest-growing product at Microsoft. “Our mutual customers and our product line are ready for the cloud. There are pretenders from the consumer world but there’s only one set of tools for the business world.”
Big Data: It’s early in the Big Data game, Ballmer said. He pointed to Excel and SQL Server enhancements. “There is no question the most familiar, easy to use tool sets come from Excel and SQL Server. Ninety percent of the world’s data has been created in the past two years. There is an explosion in data; tools that mine the data are essential.” Microsoft is building Hadoop on Azure for unstructure data, and SQL on Azure for structured data. “Because of our investment in Bing, we understand how to manage unstructured data.”
An Azure data market place will allow partners to mix and match public and private data in structured and unstructured ways.
Social: “Some people think social is one product. I don’t. It’s a way of working — how to collaborate on a project, whether we work in the same or different companies. It’s people to people; people to businesses; employees to employees; how do you bring them together natually.”
Additional Keynote recaps:
Tami Reller discussing Windows and Devices, recap coming soon
Satya Nadella said more than 3.2 million customers now run Office 365, and more than 120,000 partners are now enrolled to sell Office 365 and Microsoft Cloud services.
Channel Chief Jon Roskill discussing the partner opportunity
President Kevin Turning discussing how to compete and win
Stay tuned to The VAR Guy; this blog entry will receive multiple updates today (Monday).
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