Microsoft channel partners are descending on New Orleans this week for the Worldwide Partner Conference 2009.
News from the Microsoft conference will include major changes to the channel partner program, more details on the Windows Azure cloud development platform and updates on the Windows 7 operating system. Channel partners will also have the chance to learn more about Microsoft products in breakout sessions and network with each other during social events.
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This page will feature regularly updated news from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans all week long. Check back often for articles, blogs and videos on the news affecting Microsoft channel partners.
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 news
Fear Factor: Microsoft WPC edition
Microsoft has talked up its Software Plus Services world view for years and pledged a partner role there: Still many Microsoft partners still resist moving into Microsoft's Azure cloud.
Google Apps vs. Microsoft battle heats up at WPC 2009
Microsoft is taking steps to get more Business Productivity Online Suite subscribers after a rough launch. Company executives are stressing the flexibility of their Software Plus Services strategy as a competitive advantage over Google, which offers the hosted Google Apps suite and has announced its own operating system, Chrome.
Microsoft partners ponder complex Azure pricing
Microsoft announced Azure pricing, but the structure left some partners confused. Others wondered whether the pricing would be enough to convince Amazon Web Services users to switch to Azure for their hosted development needs.
Microsoft partner program drops Gold certification
The Microsoft partner program is now called the Microsoft Partner Network, and the company is getting rid of its Gold and Certified partner designations. The changes are part of a complete partner program overhaul announced at the Worldwide Partner Conference. Partners say the moves will help set them apart from other companies in Microsoft's huge channel.
Microsoft shifts to xRM application platform
Microsoft Dynamics CRM now boasts 1 million customers. But Microsoft is shifting its focus to the xRM application platform, the company said at the Worldwide Partner Conference. The shift to this broader application development environment mirrors what Salesforce.com is doing with its Force.com platform.
Microsoft Azure to undercut Amazon Web Services pricing
Microsoft is expected to announce its Windows Azure pricing plan at the Worldwide Partner Conference, and some sources say it will cost 10% less than Amazon Web Services. Find out how this news from Microsoft could affect channel partners and the cloud computing market as a whole.
Microsoft channel partner program changes coming at WPC 2009
Microsoft named a new U.S. channel chief as the company prepared to announce major channel partner program changes at the Worldwide Partner Conference. Microsoft channel partners and analysts say a major restructuring of the program is coming and that the changes will get people talking at the conference in New Orleans.
Azure cloud on horizon: The devil is in the data architecture details
Developers and VARs have been able to play with a controlled beta version of some Microsoft Azure cloud services for months. But, changes keep rippling and Azure's core data architecture has been overhauled. Such changes prompt questions about what developers might -- or might not -- be able to use in building cloud apps.
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 blogs
Top 5 lessons from the Worldwide Partner Conference
These five takeaways from the WPC in New Orleans will have lasting effects for Microsoft partners. Brush up on Microsoft's poor Business Productivity Office Suite sales, its love/hate relationship with the iPhone and common-sense Microsoft Business Solutions competencies, plus more.
Office apps glut coming
Microsoft will give away Office Web Apps to consumers and offer the on-premise version free to volume licensees of Office 2010. Blogger Barbara Darrow says that strategy's a real head-scratcher, and Microsoft needs to refine its go-to-market approach to hosted services.
What they're tweeting at WPC 2009
Find out what Worldwide Partner Conference attendees are posting on Twitter with this collection of some of the best tweets from the show's first day. Check out these comments on Windows 7, Windows Phone, Office Web Apps and more.
No Windows 7 RTM at WPC (yet)
Microsoft's Bill Veghte spelled out the company's Windows 7 go-to-market strategy, but he didn't announce its release to manufacturing, as some had expected. He emphasized the partner opportunity, saying there are already 246 million Windows 7-capable machines out today.
Microsoft trying to sell Razorfish
Microsoft is reportedly trying to sell Razorfish, the digital advertising service. The news comes during the Worldwide Partner Conference, where many longtime Microsoft partners think Google and its online advertising business are becoming distractions.
You can make Azure your friend
Azure, Microsoft's set of hosted services, has a Facebook profile. Really.
Microsoft nabs Office.com domain for Office Online?
Marksmen, a brand protection company, snagged the prized Office.com domain name, heretofore held by ContactOffice. Could Marksmen be holding that spot for Microsoft's long expected Office online? Folks expect Microsoft to talk up that offering -- an anti-Google Apps move -- next week at its Worldwide Partner Conference.
Where'd Azure workflow go?
Developers kicking the tires of Azure workflow were unpleasantly surprised when Microsoft pulled back the services and told users they'd have to wait till .Net 4.0 support was woven in.
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009 multimedia
Microsoft ready to take on VMware with Hyper-V R2
This Week in Virtualization, the weekly news podcast from SearchServerVirtualization.com, talks to solutions providers about Hyper-V R2 at the Worldwide Partner Conference. Listen to what Microsoft partners have to say about the Hyper-V vs. VMware battle and the future of the server virtualization market.
Microsoft Partner Network shakes up the channel
Analyst Darren Bibby, IDC's program director for software channels research, says the Microsoft Partner Network will help solve the problem of too many Gold partners in Microsoft's channel. The new partner program will eliminate the Gold and Certified designations and require solutions providers to focus on specific technology areas and vertical markets.
Microsoft cuts Gold, Certified partner designations
Watch Microsoft partner Alan "Skip" Gould talk about the Microsoft Partner Network in this video. Gould, CEO of Microsoft partner BrightPlanIT, talks about the partner program's new name and the competencies that Microsoft has designed to help partners differentiate themselves from each other.
Microsoft partner program changes on the way
Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, talks about the Microsoft Partner Network and how it will affect his business in this video. The new channel partner program was one of the biggest news stories to come out of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans.
Microsoft revamps channel with new Partner Network
In this video clip from the Worldwide Partner Conference keynote, channel chief Allison Watson announces the new Microsoft Partner Network. She explains to channel partners how the new program will be different from the existing Microsoft partner program.
Microsoft Hyper-V R2 services opportunities
Watch this video to learn how Microsoft channel partners can take advantage of new services opportunities with Hyper-V R2. Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, talks about the best ways for partners to create new business around the upcoming version of Microsoft's server virtualization hypervisor.
New Hyper-V R2 technology features
In this video from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009, BrightPlanIT CEO Alan "Skip" Gould reviews some of the new features in Hyper-V R2. Microsoft announced at the show that the new version of its hypervisor will be available in September.
Microsoft financing program expands at WPC 2009
Microsoft is offering partners more financing options. In this clip from the Worldwide Partner Conference keynote address, channel chief Allison Watson explains how the expanded financing will help Microsoft channel partners grow their businesses.