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Microsoft Ecosystem Revenues Near the GDP of Switzerland

Every Microsoft partner knows that there's a multiplier around Microsoft revenues that winds up in partners' pockets. It's why there's a Microsoft channel, or why any vendor has a channel.

How much that ecosystem is worth is anyone's guess. Microsoft makes a college try at quantifying it every year or so with the help of market researchers at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC.

Most years, the figure comes in at around $8 or $9 depending on the Microsoft product, with some going to hardware OEMs, some going for add-on software, and some going for deployment and solution services.

During an online partner forum this month, Jon Roskill, Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group, engaged in the parlor game of projecting that ecosystem multiplier out against the global economy.

Crediting IDC, Roskill said, "One of the most interesting points for me is for every $1 of Microsoft software that is sold, partners make an $8.70 multiplier on top of that. So when you multiply the $8.70 out by the $65-roughly-billion Microsoft does, you wind up in the $580 billion range. The thing that I think is kind of amusing about that is if you put it on the world GDP stack rank," Roskill said.

According to a list of countries by GDP on Wikipedia, which sources the 2010 list by the IMF, that puts the Microsoft partner ecosystem between No. 18 Indonesia ($695 billion) and No. 19 Switzerland ($522 billion).

Said Roskill, "So collectively our ecosystem is significant."

Within that ecosystem, IDC provided a breakout by partner type in a whitepaper released by Microsoft today (PDF). IDC estimated that the average partner ecosystem revenues for each $1 of Microsoft revenues was $8.70 in 2009, but it varied by partner type. Here's how IDC broke out revenues by different partner types:

  • Product-oriented partners such as ISVs or IHVs made $4.09,
  • Services-oriented partners such as systems integrators or hosters made $2.44,
  • Value-added partners made $2.30,
  • Logistics-oriented partners such as large account resellers made $2.70 and
  • Retail logistics partners such as large electronics stores made $2.93.

Meanwhile, IDC's $580 billion estimate for the size of the Microsoft partner ecosystem applies to 2010. The market research firm expects the figure could rise to about $800 billion in the next few years. In a statement, IDC analyst Darren Bibby said, "The Microsoft ecosystem has achieved impressive results and has a very bright future."

(Ed's Note: For more news from the Microsoft Partner Network Interactive Leadership Forum, click here.)

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 24, 2011