Microsoft Channel Investment To Go Up in FY 2009
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner gave his annual closing speech at the Microsoft
Worldwide Partner Conference this morning. While he provided mostly a roundup
of announcements from throughout the week, he did have a big piece of news.
Turner announced a $600 million increase in the Microsoft investment in its
channel. The latest figure I'd heard was $2 billion. But Turner said Microsoft
invested $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2008 (which ended in June), and will invest
$2.9 billion in FY09. For those of you keeping score, that's a 26 percent bump.
Back when Microsoft put $2 billion into the channel, nobody else in the industry
was close, as far as we know. This increase makes that gap even bigger. Meanwhile,
the company will invest $7 billion again in research and development for FY09,
So how many hands are reaching for a piece of that partner investment pie?
Turner cited the figure of 645,000 partners, and said Microsoft had signed up
50,000 new partners this year. Some 400,000 of those partners are actually registered
in the Microsoft Partner Program. The rest are unregistered companies who partner
with Microsoft outside the formal program.
Partners interested in getting access to the money may need to use a different
approach than in the past. Microsoft insiders tell us that a lot of the channel
investment money is more centralized than it used to be, with general managers
in the field having less discretion over the cash.
Posted by Scott Bekker on July 10, 2008 at 11:58 AM