Post-Microsoft, Schuster To Focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Former Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster on Wednesday formally announced her post-Microsoft plans -- an advocacy role to bring more diversity, equity and inclusion into the tech industry.

Schuster, who has supported and advanced women in technology organizations during her seven years leading Microsoft's worldwide partner organization and gave an influential TEDx talk on allies and gender equity in November 2020, will pursue the role as CEO of Gavriella Schuster LLC and through a number of board of director and advisory board positions. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on August 18, 20210 comments

Join the RCP Editors for a Post-Inspire Tweet Chat

Another Microsoft Inspire is in the books and, as always, a lot happened.

Join the editors of on Twitter on Tuesday, July 20, to make some sense of it all. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 19, 20210 comments

Microsoft Slashes Marketplace Fees for Partners

Microsoft rolled out a dramatic reduction in partner fees for its collection of commercial marketplaces on Wednesday as the company kicked off Microsoft Inspire, its two-day virtual conference for partners.

Charlotte Yarkoni, chief operating officer of Microsoft Cloud + AI, positioned the changes as investing in the partner ecosystem to help partners do business with Microsoft. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 14, 20210 comments

Microsoft Inspire Preview: Virtual, But Way More than Just a Few Online Keynotes

Microsoft Inspire 2021, the company's partner conference that is being held virtually for the second year in a row due to COVID-19, kicks off this week.

Conference registration is available here.

The main event starts Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. EDT with a keynote from Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella. Nadella normally provides a broad overview of the company's strategic direction and partner opportunities around those goals at the conference, which closely follows the July 1 start of Microsoft's fiscal year. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 12, 20210 comments

Social Impact a Focus of the 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards

Social impact is a major focus of the 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year awards.

In an annual ritual preceding the Microsoft Inspire partner conference, Microsoft on Thursday unveiled the finalists and winners in 56 global categories and for 108 country-level awards (see the full list of winners below). Microsoft Inspire, a virtual event for the second year in a row because of the pandemic, takes place next Wednesday and Thursday. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 08, 20210 comments

Windows 11 Is Official and It's Slated for This Year

There will be a successor to Windows 10. It's called Windows 11, and it is slated to be generally available this holiday season, Microsoft announced in an unveiling event Thursday.

In the virtual event titled, "What's Next for Windows," Microsoft confirmed rumors that it will move forward from Windows 10, speculation that intensified in recent weeks with the circulation of a leaked build of the new OS. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 24, 20210 comments

Sea Change in the MPN: Advanced Specializations Outnumber Competencies

The structure of the Microsoft Partner Network reached a significant milestone this week when the number of advanced specializations surpassed the number of competencies for the first time. It's a change worth paying attention to because it shows where Microsoft's priorities lie.

Competencies have been the major way for partners to demonstrate their expertise since Microsoft last restructured its program as the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) more than a decade ago. Competencies come in Silver and Gold levels. Their number has ranged from about 30 at the peak to about 18 now. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 17, 20210 comments

Nadella Adds 'Chairman' to CEO Title at Microsoft

The Microsoft board looked at Satya Nadella's work for the last seven years as CEO and decided to add "chairman" to his title.

"In this role, Nadella will lead the work to set the agenda for the board, leveraging his deep understanding of the business to elevate the right strategic opportunities and identify key risks and mitigation approaches for the board's review," the company said in a statement Wednesday evening. Nadella was elected unanimously to the role by the Microsoft board's independent directors. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 17, 20210 comments

Microsoft Officially Shelves Windows 10X, Starts Windows 10 21H1 Rollout

Microsoft on Tuesday announced the general availability of Windows 10 21H1, as well as confirmed earlier reports of Windows 10X's demise.

Windows 10 21H1, also called the May 2021 Update, is currently available to "select devices running Windows 10," wrote John Cable, vice president of program management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, in a blog post. Cable detailed how the update can be accessed on his post, adding that broader availability will happen in phases. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 18, 20210 comments

Nadella: Microsoft Teams Users Nearly Doubled Since Start of Pandemic

Lest the impression set in that Microsoft Teams usage growth plateaued early in the pandemic, CEO Satya Nadella uncorked a massive new number this week as part of Microsoft's third quarter earnings release.

"Teams now has over 145 million daily active users, almost double the number a year ago," Nadella said during the earnings call Tuesday. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 28, 20210 comments

Nuance Acquisition Marks a Major Move by Microsoft in Health Care

With its second-biggest acquisition to date, Microsoft is massively increasing its bet on becoming a prime mover in health care tech.

Microsoft on Monday announced the planned acquisition of Nuance Communications for $19.7 billion. Boards of both companies unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close this calendar year. Only Microsoft's $26.2 billion payment for LinkedIn in 2016 was larger in dollar terms. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 12, 20210 comments

Rodney Clark Named New Microsoft Global Channel Chief

Microsoft is shaking up its worldwide partner organization this week, with new leadership at the top, a new name for the global team and the centralization of the previously independent partner programs for IoT and mixed reality devices under the main channel sales umbrella.

Rodney Clark, a longtime Microsoft executive with significant channel experience, will become corporate vice president of Global Channel Sales effective Thursday, April 1. The title makes Clark the worldwide channel chief at Microsoft, replacing Gavriella Schuster. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 30, 20210 comments