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Microsoft Unveils Inspire Keynote Lineup

As part of the lead-up to the Microsoft Inspire partner conference next month, Microsoft revealed the lineup of keynote speakers and dropped hints about some of the big themes of the conference.

Inspire 2018 is being held in Las Vegas from July 15-19. For the first time, the worldwide partner conference is being co-located with the Microsoft Ready internal sales conference. Microsoft executives say the combined event is bringing 40,000 attendees to Las Vegas.

Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president for Microsoft One Commercial Partner, wrote in a blog post that the Inspire keynotes will be dubbed Corenotes for 2018, and will occur on Monday, July 16; Tuesday, July 17; and Wednesday, July 18, at the T-Mobile Arena. In some years, the keynotes have been held only on Monday and Wednesday of the show, with Tuesday morning left open for partner meetings.

In another change, CEO Satya Nadella will give a closing speech on Wednesday, rather than the traditional conference-opening speech on a Monday morning. The reason for the change is to allow Nadella's message to reach both the partners, whose conference will be wrapping up on Wednesday, and the internal sales audience, whose event will just be getting started.

This year, the Monday Microsoft executive lineup will start with Schuster's partner welcome, followed by Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Worldwide Commercial Business; and Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer.

For Tuesday, look for a session on Azure, the hybrid cloud opportunity and the expanding role of artificial intelligence led by Jason Zander, executive vice president of the Microsoft Azure team in the cloud and AI Group.

That session will be followed by industry-focused sessions featuring Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of Business Applications and Global Industry, and Anand Eswaran, corporate vice president of Microsoft Digital. Schuster will close the general session on Tuesday with partner details.

Other senior executives scheduled to appear during the week's main stage Corenotes are Julia White, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Cloud Platform; Ron Markezich, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Marketing; and Yusef Medhi, corporate vice president of the Windows and Devices Group.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 25, 2018


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