Channel Call

RCP Has the 411 at the WPC

News, video, blogs -- we give you the scoop on Microsoft's annual event for partners.

The fifth annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference kicks off in just days in Houston. Whether you're planning to be in the expected crowd of 10,000 at the George R. Brown Convention Center or you'll be following conference developments remotely, the staff of Redmond Channel Partner magazine will have you covered.

We began our blanket coverage of the biggest event of the Microsoft partner year in the June issue with a preview of the major themes that emerged in Microsoft's descriptions of the approximately 225 sessions conference organizers had planned for the 2008 conference. Headline themes for the show are how the channel will make money with Microsoft from Software plus Services; a heavy emphasis on collecting customer satisfaction data on Microsoft partners; and guiding partners to profitability in major opportunity areas such as the small to midsize business sector, virtualization and business intelligence.

That coverage continues this month with two exclusive previews of news Microsoft plans to unveil at the show. One is our cover story about major changes planned for the Microsoft Partner Program over the next three years. The other is a story about a new study Microsoft commissioned from IDC that puts a dollar figure on what software piracy costs different categories of channel partners.

Our coverage won't be limited to print, though. There's a special partner conference portal page at where RCP editors will post news, blogs and video content from the show. We'll be posting updates from keynotes, sessions, receptions, the exhibit hall and even the hallways of the conference to keep you completely updated on news, trends and buzz. We'll roll all the news and tidbits we gather for the site into special daily editions of the free Redmond Channel Partner Update (RCPU) e-mail newsletter as well, so you can scan all the developments from your inbox. (If you haven't already signed up to receive RCPU, go to to subscribe.)

As you're getting ready for the show, stop by our portal and watch our video preview, in which Senior Editor Lee Pender and I talk about all the highlights of the upcoming conference. After the conference, we'll post a video wrap-up later in the month, tying together all the significant developments of the week. We'll also post on-camera interviews with partners, Microsoft executives, analysts and vendors from the show floor.

If you're in Houston, please stop by our booth (#121). You'll probably catch one of us there, and we'd love to meet you in person, find out what you're up to and hear what you're finding compelling at the show -- especially if it involves a juicy rumor or a good conspiracy theory. E-mail me at [email protected] to connect.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.