Microsoft's First SMB Summit Opens in Redmond -- and Online
As part of its continuing outreach to small-business customers
and partners, Microsoft launched
its first-ever Small
More than 400 Microsoft customers and partners attended a live
kick-off event in Redmond on Tuesday. At least 12,000 signed up
for additional online sessions scheduled through Friday.
The free four-day summit, built around the theme "Taking Your
Business to the Next Level," features more than 40 live Webcasts
on topics near to SMB executives' hearts: financial management,
computer security, sales and marketing, productivity, and mobility.
During the kick-off event, Microsoft also:
- Offered previews of Microsoft Small Business
Server 2003 R2 and other products targeted to SMBs.
- Detailed new SMB financing options.
- Announced an important new alliance with the
Best Buy retail chain (see next item).
For an in-depth look at Microsoft's SMB outreach efforts,
watch for the April issue of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.
Best Buy Becomes a Gold Certified Partner
Best Buy has become the first
national retailer to earn Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status,
the two companies said this week.
Microsoft also detailed its expanded alliance with the Minnesota-based
chain of electronics stores, saying the agreement will make it easier
for small-business customers to determine "which Microsoft
technology is right for their business."
Both announcements came during the inaugural Microsoft Small Business
Vista: Even Farther Out on the Horizon?
has it that Microsoft now plans to release Windows Vista in November.
Earlier scuttlebutt had hinted that the operating system would be
released during the first week of October.
The latest estimate came from a posting on the Official Microsoft
Connections blog earlier this week: "Yes, Vista will be released
in November of this year," a Microsoft employee wrote.
However, Microsoft, which has characterized previous discussion
of specific release dates as pure speculation, took a similar response
in this case. The company later updated the blog with a standard
statement noting only that it expects "to make Vista generally
available in the second half of this year."
column was originally published in our weekly
Redmond Partner Update newsletter. To subscribe,
EU Rejects Call for Open Hearing in Anti-Trust
Microsoft, facing multimillion-dollar fines in connection with European
anti-trust complaint, wants the public to have access to a hearing
on the matter later this month. But the European Commission, which
oversees such matters, has turned
down that request.
"We believe this hearing should be conducted in an open forum,"
Microsoft said of the hearing, scheduled for March 30-31 in Brussels,
Belgium. "We understand these sessions are normally private
in order to protect the party under investigation; however, we waive
our right to a confidential hearing to ensure a full and fair examination
of the issues in this case."
But a spokesman for the commission -- which is the regulatory arm
of the 25-country European Union -- says such cases are always closed
to prevent grandstanding by the parties involved.
Posted by Anne Stuart on March 15, 2006 at 11:53 AM