Jul 092012

I am attending Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference this week. It is being held in Toronto this year.

Company executive, including CEO Steve Ballmer, used the forum for a number of product announcements at the Air Canada Centre.

As importantly, it was interesting to note what was emphasized. Here is a synopsis of what was emphasized at the Monday morning opening keynote:

  • Windows 8: will RTM (Release To Manufacturing) August 1, 2012. It will see general availability, for upgrades at $40 and on PCs, in late October. It may miss back-to-school, but is in time for Christmas. The inexpensive upgrade price and the compatibility of hardware for Windows 7 and Windows 8 is meant to ease the back-to-school miss, as well as any slowness in sales of Windows between now and late October.
  • Office 365: now available under Open Licensing, available in Government and Education pricing, partners can make approximately 23% margin, which is up from the current 11%.
  • Azure, server, O365 (mentioned again and again), the recent purchase of Yammer and Office 15 were all mentioned.
  • Microsoft Surface was not demonstrated, while OEM (Acer, Asus, HP, etc.) products were.
  • Microsoft has picked up a company called Perceptive Pixel, which has developed a touch capability for large screens. The founder of that company, who is now Microsoft’s newest employee, immediately showed off a large screen product with Office software and touch capability. He also committed a geographic mistake and a faux-pas by uttering, “we actually do all of our manufacturing here in the US.” Apparently, the American invasion army had taken hold outside while we were being bedazzled by our own Cirque Du Soleil inside.

The executive repeatedly asserted that 2012 is the biggest year for Microsoft in over 17 fiscals clearly referring to the launch of Windows 95 in that year.

These are good announcements for a Worldwide Partner Conference.


Ironically, for such a hi-tech show, Steve Ballmer’s wireless microphones failed several times. At the end, the stage hand, running out of wireless microphones, handed him a wired microphone with a long cable!

Steve Ballmer even mentioned his own videos on YouTube (gulp Google) when speaking about Windows and his infamous screaming video.


WPC line-up


Cirque Du Soleil



Steve Ballmer WPC Toronto


Steve Ballmer On The Big Screen


Bad Food For 15,000 People (Fruit Is Available)


*I do work on behalf of Microsoft

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>