How About Those Google Partners?

When someone at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference asked Kevin Turner what he thinks about Google's growing partner program, Microsoft's COO turned the question right back at the audience.

"I don't know what to think about the Google partner ecosystem. That's something you should explore and you should look at," Turner told the audience, emphasizing the word "you."

Delivering the event's closing presentation, Turner said he couldn't speak to Google's activities, only to Microsoft's.

"What I can tell you is that we're going to take a long-term approach to innovation," he said. He reiterated the number that came up repeatedly in executive keynotes at the conference: that Microsoft spends $7 billion annually on research and development, which eventually generates billions more in new opportunities for partners.

"The question I would have for all of you is that you should look at the ecosystem that Google has for partners," Turner said. "If there's not a monetization model there for you, then you should deduct [that] that perhaps they could be a competitor and join the fight."

In those cases, he continued, partners may be better off growing or finding new directions for their existing models:

"That's the challenge that I would have for you," he said. "Ask the hard questions, and when you don't get the right answers, make the right decision for your business and make it the right way."

Google recently moved further into enterprise search by announcing a deal with Ingram Microsoft to distribute the Google Search Appliance and the Google Mini.

Posted by Anne Stuart on July 12, 2007