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Ballmer Reaches for Cloud

It's no secret that Microsoft is gunning for the cloud. It might prefer good old-fashioned significantly priced packaged software, but the market is moving into the upper atmosphere. Google, Amazon and IBM are already there, but Microsoft has one advantage -- hundreds of thousands of resellers and technology partners.

That was Steve Ballmer's message in his keynote at the Worldwide Partners Conference in D.C. He wants this army to get behind Azure in a big way. Ballmer admits that the move from packaged pricing to subscription models is just as scary for resellers as it is for Redmond itself, but the move is inevitable (my personal take is that the cloud is indeed inevitable in that it is coming, but it won't entirely displace on-premise computing).

Ballmer was characteristically blunt, telling partners that "If you don't want to move to the cloud, we're not your folk."

Ballmer also reiterated plans to battle the iPad with Windows slates, and taking a serious stab at phones with Windows Mobile 7.

Is the Redmond partner network an asset? Let us all know at [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on July 14, 2010


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