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Meeting With Microsoft This Week? Mind Your Manners

A few of weeks ago, your editor was having a chat with one of his colleagues out in RCP's office in sun-drenched, meticulously planned Irvine, Calif. The colleague mentioned that she had a friend who worked for Microsoft and then went on to detail a brief conversation with that friend that went more or less like this:

RCP colleague: So, I Googled [something, it doesn't matter what] the other day, and

Microsoft friend (interrupting): Don't you mean "Live Searched" it?

RCP colleague (befuddled): Um...no...

You see, when speaking with folks from Microsoft, we don't "Google," we "Live Search" (even if we don't really Live Search -- which most of us don't). And we don't talk about our iPods, how great VMware is or how we chat with our friends in Europe via Skype.

That's because one of the keys to making a good impression in Redmond -- or with folks associated with Redmond -- is to at least act committed to being 100 percent Microsoft, 100 percent of the time. That means talking up Microsoft products and talking down -- or, even better, not mentioning -- competitors' wares.

That little piece of advice might just come in handy for partners attending Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference this week in Denver. It'll certainly come in handy for partners, especially smaller companies looking to make a good (and, probably, rare) impression, who are planning to meet with folks from Microsoft soon.

In fact, just in case you haven't seen it yet, we put together a whole guide to Microsoft etiquette in the July issue of RCP magazine. And there's a lot more to it than just avoiding using Google as a verb -- or at all. Getting noticed for the right reasons at Microsoft -- something many partners might not get many chances to do, so it's important to make them count -- isn't terribly complicated, but there are a few basic rules that anybody who's planning to meet with the Redmondians should remember. We've got those rules covered, along with a few other, more subtle tips, too.

So, if you're headed into a conference room in Denver this week to chat with folks from Microsoft, or if you just want to make the best possible impression when the opportunity to meet someone from Redmond arises, give our guide a quick read. And then set Live Search as your default search page (if you haven't already -- which you probably haven't), at least until your meeting with Microsoft is done.

Posted by Lee Pender on July 11, 2007


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