According to Turner, a “frenzy of opportunities” await partners who “monetise” the company’s latest innovations such as Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007, as well as Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, due out next February.
Microsoft put more than US$20 billion of previous years’ research and development into products released in the last year, says Turner, adding “this is the year that we’re going to monetise that innovation.
“I see monetisation. I can smell it and hear it.”
Vista alone represents a US$300 billion partner opportunity over the next year, says Turner, citing a report by IDC.
And the release of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 will create further opportunities. “There are hundreds of billions of dollars available through the partner ecosystem and monetisation for these products,” says Turner.
Apart from encouraging partners to “sell, sell, sell” these new products, Turner also said Microsoft wants to be tough-minded about competition.
In addition to winning new ERP customers with Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft also wants to take on Salesforce.com with its new hosted offering – Dynamics CRM Live.
Turner meanwhile said that Microsoft partners helped attract more than 2.5 million email users from IBM’s Lotus Notes software to Exchange Server, adding the company aims is to take out another four million Notes seats this year.
Turner also promised Microsoft will continue to increase its $7 billion annual investment on software research and development, and that it will make available a “clear software road map”.
On complaints that Windows Vista was proving unattractive to end users because of device incompatibilities, Turner says that there are now more than 10,000 devices that have been certified as either Vista-ready or Vista-capable.
Turner also encouraged partners to be willing to adapt, especially to Microsoft’s software-as-a-service model, in order to remain well-fed by Microsoft users. “Look, this is going to happen. Customers are going to want choice. We all have to build that door and then walk through it.”
As an example Turner touted Microsoft’s Office Live offerings, which he says are being used by more than 400,000 small businesses, as a growing opportunity for partners. “I fully believe that in two to three years, Office Live will be one of the top three or four deployed products by Microsoft.”