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Top stories for October 2010

VARs were all about Microsoft in October as the software giant made headlines with Office 365, Ray Ozzie's exit, Azure and the Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft kept readers clicking on in October for news on new product releases and information about Ray Ozzie's surprising exit from the company. For the juice on Microsoft Office 365, Azure, Windows Phone 7 and more, check out the five top stories from October 2010.

Microsoft Office 365 could shrink partner business

Microsoft made its latest move in its hosted services clash with Google Apps with the debut of Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft execs touted partner benefits, but in reality partners may be left out in the cold as the software giant will likely take deals direct. Office 365 may the most appealing to the SMB market, but price ($1,800 per 25 users each year, compared to $1,250 yearly for 25 Google Apps Premium Edition users) may not be aggressive enough to sway potential Microsoft defectors to Google.

Three vendor 'gotchas' and how VARs get around them

It doesn't have to be the vendor's way or the highway for VARs. Heather Clancy advises VARs to stay proactive and engaged to prove their value to vendors. And, the existence of deal registration doesn't mean vendors should have final say over partner business. Clancy shows how VARs can get around vendor 'gotchas' and perhaps profit in the process.

Ozzie exit from Microsoft stirs VAR interest

Even though the news doesn't directly affect most Microsoft partners, they're still curious about why Ray Ozzie, Bill Gates' hand-picked successor as chief software architect, is leaving the company. People want to know the real reason for Ozzie's exit and what Microsoft's next move will be.

VARs ponder Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service options

Microsoft has gone all-in with Microsoft Azure, claiming its Platform-as-a-Service approach will yield dividends for developers. It's less clear what benefits it will yield for traditional VARs, since it will run only on Microsoft-hosted servers for the foreseeable future. Follow both sides of the Azure vs. Amazon Web Services argument and read about how some VARs have found roles for both offerings.

Windows Phone 7: Is it too little too late?

The verdict is up in the air when it comes to Microsoft's latest stab at a telephone operating system. For years, the company has lost ground to Apple iPhone and Google Android, but now it hopes Windows Phone 7 will recoup some of those losses. Some partners think the new OS will win over users with its security features if Microsoft can also foster a strong stable of third-party apps. Others say the phone targets consumers and lacks critical business features customers have come to expect. Read this article and decide for yourself if the Windows Phone 7 can make a run at the iPhone and Android.

Check out the top stories from September 2010.

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