I finally have a few moments to update you on the major themes from Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) that was in Toronto, CA The week of July 9, 2012.
As this is a partner focused event, a lot of the information was focused specifically to that audience. There are some good nuggets thought end users as well.
Key highlights from Keynote:
- 16,000 partners from 156 countries attending, additional 17,000 watching keynote online
- 20 percent of partners have reached new gold CRM status (yes, Infinity is one of them!)
- Verticals and industry focus are key to growth.
- Infinity believes that as well, which is why we have a dedicated focus on Life Sciences and Financial Services.
- All new CRM online trials and customers to use O365 admin portals.
- CRM online going extremely well, 31 quarters of double digit growth.
- 60 percent of all new seats sold in last year are online.
Steve Ballmer talked about entering the New Era and how partners are at the core of this story. Kurt DelBene shared his thoughts and insight about being partners in productivity and announced Office 365 Open. Tami Reller highlighted Windows 8 and showcased how it adapts to the user experience and how far Microsoft has come since first talking about Windows 8 – it meets expectations around mobility, battery life, and getting information everywhere. Some impressive stuff here.
Windows 8 RTM/GA: Windows 8 is on track for release to manufacturers (RTM) during the first week of August, and the product will reach general availability (GA) at the end of October. Enterprise customers can get Windows 8 by August, and the product will be available in 109 languages in 231 markets.
Office 2010 / Windows 7 momentum: There are now 1 billion people using Office worldwide, and licenses for Windows 7 have reached 630 million worldwide.
Microsoft acquires Perceptive Pixel: You probably know their technology…they make those cool, huge HD touchscreens TV’s that weather channel, the various news and political commentators have been using lately. “The acquisition of PPI allows us to draw on our complementary strengths, and we’re excited to accelerate this market evolution,” said Kurt DelBene, president, Office Division for Microsoft. “PPI’s large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration.” Microsoft expects to push this technology to smaller and more devices. Demo was of an 82” HD TV…very cool….I want one for my media room!