Hasta La Vista, Longhorn
Microsoft last week laid to rest the code name Longhorn by unveiling
the official name of its next Windows operating system: Windows
Vista. I didn’t immediately take to the name, but it’s
growing on me, especially after reading Scott Bekker’s story
that details the dictionary definitions of the word. Allow me to
add another to what Scott has, specifically the third definition
of vista from my ridiculously heavy Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary:
“a far-reaching mental view: vistas of the future.”
Sounds like something I could use. Beta 1, which is targeted at
developers and IT pros, ships next week.
Check out Scott’s story here.
From there you can link to the Vista home page and the name announcement
A Rosy Revenue Story – with Exceptions
Microsoft last Thursday reported
strong financial results for its fiscal 2005 fourth quarter
and full year, both of which ended June 30. For the year, net income
grew 50 percent, to $12.25 billion, on revenue of $39.8 billion.
That is a ton of growth—which of course means all you partners
are doing something right. And CFO Chris Liddell is bullish for
more to come. “We expect double digit revenue growth next
year, kicking off the strongest multi-year product pipeline in the
company's history,” he said in a statement.
A notable exception to the profit rule is Microsoft Business Solutions,
which lost $201 million for the year, although that’s down
from $315 million last year—a reduction of 36 percent. Doug
Burgum, senior vice president of the Business Solutions Business
Group, addressed that topic during a press conference earlier this
month at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. The fact that
MBS isn’t making money doesn’t mean it isn’t making
progress against its goals, he said, noting the group still sees
itself as being in investment mode. “We have lost all the
money that we’ve been asked to lose every year,” Burgum
said. Microsoft’s long-term goal is to grab a significant
share of a market that he says has the potential to reach $60 billion.
In that respect, MBS represents an opportunity for partners with
competencies, including Information Worker, to add additional revenue.
Judging by demos throughout the conference showing tight integration
between products such as Great Plains and Office, Burgum could well
be on to something. One such demo showed how clicking on an e-mail
sent from a customer can bring up all transactions for that customer.
Another showed how the Outlook calendar can be tied in to the Great
Plains human resources system, enabling a vacation request, for
example, to kick off an automated series of approvals. Pretty slick.
Partner Conference Redux
If you weren’t able to attend the Worldwide Partner Conference
earlier this month, or just want to make sure you didn’t miss
anything, on its Partner
site Microsoft has lots of information on all the news, resources
and awards it announced at the event. Partner Program registration
is required for that site, but anyone can read the Q&A
with Allison Watson, vice president of the Worldwide Partner
Group, on the general Microsoft site, in which she expounds on topics
including the importance of partnering with other partners and some
of the new product-specific resources available to partners.
More on Partnering
Partners partnering with each other was the topic of the cover
story for the premier issue of Redmond Channel Partner magazine,
which debuted at the Partner Conference.
And to make sure you don’t miss an issue, subscribe to the
I’m also interested in your thoughts on the magazine as a
whole or on particular articles. Feel free to drop me a line at
[email protected] or
let me know through our online
feedback system. If you’re willing, your comments might
appear in our next Letters page.
column was originally published in our weekly
Redmond Partner Update newsletter. To subscribe,
Compliance: Your Foot in the Door
Manakoa Services Corp. sprang to life from a project its CEO, Robert
Williams, worked on in the wake of the anthrax attacks a few years
ago. Williams is a security expert and Microsoft security MVP with
some 30 years of experience, much of it with the federal government.
One of his government contacts hired him to develop risk management
models to assess where contaminated equipment and letters may have
gone. That same risk management model is now the foundation for
the tools Manakoa offers to help companies assess whether they’re
in compliance with regulations including Sarbanes Oxley, GLBA and
HIPAA. The tools run as an extension to Microsoft Operations Manager
(MOM) and also employ SQL Server and Windows Server 2003. The
way Williams sees it, that means partners can get in the door
with customers in a new way—by talking about compliance, and
in the process leverage additional Microsoft software sales and
Virtual Earth Beta Debuts
I don’t see much of a partner opportunity in Microsoft’s
Earth, the beta version of which debuted on Sunday, but it’s
certainly fun to play with and is an example of some pretty cool
technology. Virtual Earth marries a mapping tool with aerial photography,
so you can zoom in on any address from a satellite image. You can
also find area businesses—all the pizza joints in the area,
for example. The idea is the images will help you find your way
in an unfamiliar location. I’m not convinced it will do that,
as I had a hard time identifying the buildings surrounding the one
I work in every day. But it was pretty cool, and maybe a little
scary, to zoom in on my house so close I swear I could pick out
the rear deck. (Not so with Google Maps, although Google’s
color maps look nicer.) I was so impressed I sent the link to our
art guy, but it wouldn’t work on his Mac—from either
IE or Safari.
Tip of the Day
Here is yet another leftover from the Worldwide Partner Conference.
During his keynote address, Chris Capossela, Microsoft corporate
vice president of the Information Worker product management group,
announced the Office
12 challenge. Any partner that gains the IW competency by Nov.
1 will get beta 1 of Office 12.
The challenge serves two purposes for Microsoft: It helps the company
make good on its goal of a four-fold increase in the number of partners
with the IW competency while helping educate those partners on Office
Capossela promises to make “far more” technical information
available on Office 12 at the Professional
Developers Conference in September in Los Angeles.
Posted by Paul Desmond on July 27, 2005