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Microsoft announces winners and finalists of 2013 Sales Achievement program

REDMOND, Wash. — July 30 , 2013 — Microsoft Corp. announced the winners and finalists of the Sales Achievement program at the 2013 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, the company’s annual event for industry partners, July 7–11 in Houston. The inaugural program recognizes global Microsoft partners for achieving exceptional sales results in fiscal year 2013.

“Partners that won this year’s Sales Achievement program have demonstrated extraordinary commitment in transforming their businesses to support customers worldwide with Microsoft technology,” said Chris Atkinson, vice president, Partner Growth & Enablement, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft. “As customers’ needs evolved, these partners made the right investments to grow their businesses with Microsoft and are now well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities in fiscal year 2014 and beyond.”

Categories, winners and finalists appear below.

Enterprise Alliance

Winners: Capgemini and HP
Finalists: Dell, Dimension Data, Tata Consultancy Services

Enterprise ISV

Winner: Sitecore
Finalists: Apriso Corp., Redknee

Cloud Sales Licensing Solution Partner of the Year

Winner: SoftwareONE
Finalists: Atea, Insight Enterprises Inc., Softchoice


Licensing Solution Partner Corporate Accounts Global Partner of the Year

Winner: CDW
Finalists: Atea, Brasoftware, Otsuka


Transformational Licensing Solution Partner of the Year

Winner: Insight Enterprises Inc.
Finalists: Inmeta Crayon, SoftwareONE

OEM MNA

Winner: Lenovo
Finalists: ASUS, Dell, IBM


OEM Named

Winner: Tsinghua TongFang
Finalists: MCJ, Positivo, Vostok


Services – ESPG

Winner: Accenture/Avanade
Finalists: Capgemini, PlanB.


Services – Support

Winner: Epicor Software Corp.
Finalists: Greenway Medical Technologies, Uniadex, Wortell


SMB Distributors

Winner: Tech Data
Finalists: ALSO-Actebis, Daiwabo Information Systems, WestCoast


SMSP Solution Integrators

Winner: Champion
Finalists: Atea, DiData

About Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference

Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the Worldwide Partner Conference is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at http://www.digitalwpc.com and on the Partner Network home page at http://microsoftpartnernetwork.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Jon Roskill: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Day 3 Close

JON ROSKILL: So you heard it from me, you heard it from Kevin: We're here to win in devices and services, and we want all of you -- all of you to join us.

So sit tight a couple minutes. We're going to make the announcement that everybody has been asking me as I've been wandering around the partner halls: Where will WPC 2014 be? Where is it going to be? Ooh!

But before I tell you, there's a couple things I want to touch on. We're winding up the content here in the Toyota Center, but we still have sessions this afternoon, regional keynotes tomorrow. So please make sure you get out and see those.

The second thing is I mentioned on Monday, the Partner for Good challenge, and we said our push was for $100,000. We're not quite there yet. So I'm here again to ask you guys to please dig in, give to the Partners for Good challenge. And again Microsoft YouthSpark will match that up to $100,000. And that's what our goal is here. So please get in and give.

The third thing I want to touch on is the WPC team itself. It takes an amazing team to put a show like this on, as you I'm sure can imagine. There's a set of people who basically work on this year-round. The fact that we're ready to announce next year's show, we're obviously more than a year ahead.

So with that, I'd like to have a big -- join me in big applause for all of the WPC team, and in particular Katie Quigley (ph), the woman who puts it all on. (Applause.) There we go, we've got some flowers for Katie. (Cheers, applause.) It's an amazing event, and it's just so fun for me to be a part of. It's truly an honor to come here and spend time with you guys in this role, and share our business and our goals together.

So I talked about this afternoon, I talked about tomorrow. Let's talk about this evening. Tonight, we've got the celebration. And we've been working hard the last three days. I haven't been getting to go to all these parties that you guys are going to, and tonight I get to celebrate with you, too. So we'll be over, it's right next door at the Minute Maid Center, and we'll be having first Fitz & The Tantrums, kind of an up-and-coming indie band, and then they'll be followed by Lenny Kravitz -- Lenny Kravitz, yeah. (Applause.) And Lenny is going to put on a great show, and I'm sure we're all going to have a blast.

I just want to thank you again from me, the team. It's a real honor to have you all here to host you all here in Houston. Houston has been a great, great, very accommodating set of partners to work with on this show. The facility here is truly amazing. So thank you, and let's get to the big unveiling of where will WPC 2014 be. Have a great rest of WPC everyone, and I'll see you around at the celebration. (Applause.)

END

Jon Roskill: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Day 3 Keynote

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, once again, Jon Roskill. (Music, applause.)

JON ROSKILL: All right. Super, super cool stuff our Public Sector team is doing with you guys, our partners, in CityNext.

So now is everyone ready to turn it up a notch? Yeah. I hear some people yelling. I have the coolest Windows 8 tablet deployment that you have ever seen. Get ready for this.

(Video segment: Windows 8 Flight Bag.)

JON ROSKILL: (Applause.) Awesome, awesome stuff. Please join me in welcoming to the stage, test pilot Eric Cornelius, call sign, Corny. (Applause.) Corny!

ERIC CORNELIUS: Thank you, Jon.

JON ROSKILL: Welcome to WPC 2013. Awesome, awesome video. It's so cool.

So let's talk a little bit about this application. You picked a Windows tablet. Why?

ERIC CORNELIUS: Correct. First of all, we wanted to get rid of all the paper in the cockpit. Pilots are using this in a bag, a lot of paper.

JON ROSKILL: A lot of paper.

ERIC CORNELIUS: We wanted to get rid of it.

JON ROSKILL: Cool.

ERIC CORNELIUS: Basically, we put this digital version on the Windows 8 tablet and you saw in the video it really works.

JON ROSKILL: And you keep it there on the leg?

ERIC CORNELIUS: Yeah, we keep it on the leg.

JON ROSKILL: So why this tablet?

ERIC CORNELIUS: Well, we chose Windows, first of all, our pilots already experimented with the iPad above Afghanistan. But the iPad didn't work properly.

JON ROSKILL: The iPad didn't cut it.

ERIC CORNELIUS: No, it didn't cut it. (Cheers, applause.) I will tell you why, first of all, the size. The tablet, the iPad is too big and the mini is too small. We actually needed an 8-inch tablet to do the job.

Secondly, it was very hard to maintain and organize the content on it.

JON ROSKILL: Sure.

ERIC CORNELIUS: And last but not least, it's very important in a military situation, security.

JON ROSKILL: Sure. Security. Yeah.

ERIC CORNELIUS: Security is very important, and the iPad was not fully capable of handling the classified content.

JON ROSKILL: Awesome.

ERIC CORNELIUS: That is why we chose Windows 8, and today with our solution, we can do the job and we've proven it.

JON ROSKILL: Excellent. So I know you guys also have some software sitting behind this, a hybrid solution, let's talk about that for a minute.

ERIC CORNELIUS: Yeah, that's correct. The hybrid solution, this looks maybe like only a checklist, but behind it there's more.

Behind it is something we designed with one of our partners. What we did is build a robust framework, actually a backbone in a hybrid cloud solution that will monitor and support all flight process. So from start, flying, and safe landing.

So today we want to launch this product, not only for aviation and military aviation and civilian aviation, but we're looking for partners to launch this also in other domains. And we're looking at police, we're looking at emergency first responders, government, and healthcare. So come and see us today and let's see how we can do business. Remember, if it works for us pilots, it will work for your customers as well.

JON ROSKILL: All right, thanks so much, Corny.

ERIC CORNELIUS: You're welcome. (Applause.)

JON ROSKILL: Awesome, awesome stuff. So been a great week so far. Lots of buzz out there in the Twittersphere, the blogosphere, the press on Microsoft and its partners and what we're doing with devices and services. It's been so cool to see.

We're really in an incredible position right now. And it's a very different position than where we were three years ago.

Three years ago, when I came into this job, it was quite a different scene. There was talk, speculation, even some skepticism about what would the future be for Microsoft and its partners?

Two years ago in LA, Steve B. declared, "We're all in." And we asked you, our partners, to join us. And you know what? You guys did, and we're here to say thank you. Thank you so much. Because today, the numbers are in. The speculation is over. Office 365, over a billion-dollar run rate. Windows Azure, over a billion-dollar run rate as well. You throw in Intune, CRM, other cloud-associated properties we've got, and you can sit back and do the math yourself. Who is the leader in the cloud now? We are. No doubt about it. (Applause.)

Windows 8, over 100 million devices out there now. Combined with the phones that we're putting out there, you heard from Tami the other day about how we're now the number-three ecosystem and driving hard for number two. We've got some of the best devices in the industry, some of the devices like the one that Corny was showing. And it's our ability to shift the form factor size. It's not a one-size-fits-all world. And that really is and always has been one of our key advantages.

We've got so many partners now working with us in the cloud. We truly have crossed the chasm.

I don't know about you guys, I didn't come this far just to kind of bump along life as normal. No, now is the time to go for it. You've made an investment in Microsoft. We've made an investment in you, and we all want to see that pay off and pay off big time. So the only question for us now is how far can we go? How far can we go?

Do you guys want 40 percent growth? Do you guys want 80 percent growth? How about 140 percent growth? What do you guys think? (Applause.) 140 percent growth.

Let's take a look at a couple of our partner companies who are doing just that.

The first one, a gold partner from Australia, Object Consulting. They've been a partner -- I see Australia over here, yeah, woo! (Applause.)

They've been a partner of ours since 1989, so over 20 years. But in 2009, they made a strategic bet in Windows Azure. And they wrote a video-on-demand system that's streaming Australian-rules football to fans on mobile devices. Since they made that bet, they've grown 140 percent.

The second partner, SkyKick. SkyKick is in our booth over in the convention center. They're the startup cloud partner of the year. And SkyKick is really interesting because they've built a set of tools that enable partners like you to help migrate customers to Office 365. Together, working with partners, they've already migrated thousands of customers to Office 365.

So two stories, two partners, two of the hundreds of thousands of Microsoft partners that are now working with us in the cloud. It's an amazing position we're now in, really feels like we truly are at an inflection point.

My job every day is about thinking about how to help you guys, the partners, make more money. And I know right now is the time for us to double down on the cloud.

Two to three years ago when I was out here talking to you, a lot of what we were talking about was models, projections, theory. But I'm excited to tell you that that's not the case anymore. Cloud economics and partner profitability in the cloud, it's not theoretical anymore. And to quantify this, we engaged industry analyst IDC. And working with them, they've done a global study on partner cloud profitability.

They went out and they surveyed 1,300 solution provider partners. And what they found is they were able to split them into two groups: A group that is doing more than 50 percent of their business, the cloud-oriented partners, in the cloud. And the group that's still mostly focused on-premises.

And what you see from this study is truly stunning results that should make all of us sit up and pay attention. But before we get into the study itself, I want to just talk about a few industry data points that we really need to kind of ground us.

We all see the cloud as inevitable. It's happening faster than even we thought. Ask yourself. How many customers have been asking you for help in the cloud, figuring out a cloud strategy in the next year?

You've got to have an answer. And yet, 70 percent, 70 percent of IT will still be on-premises in 2016. So we know the cloud doesn't meet all needs. On-premises isn't going anywhere fast. And there are dollars to be made in on-premises. And remember, on-premises, it's our foundation. And so while cloud is the future, it's our ability to be able to stitch this together into hybrid scenarios, that's where we win.

So let's get into the study and kick it off here with Darren Bibby from IDC.

(Video segment: Darren Bibby.)

JON ROSKILL: OK, so the study is quite in depth, and you should dig into it yourself. Remember, it's posted up on Digital WPC and we've already had thousands of downloads.

There are many key insights, but there are five that I want to focus on with you guys this morning.

Insight No. 1: Lead with the cloud, close with hybrid. Lead with the cloud, close with hybrid.

We all know in business you need a door-opener, a reason to go in and talk to the customer. And cloud is that door-opener. It opens doors to new customers that want to have the conversation about the cloud.

What we see is the cloud-oriented partners in this study had an average of 34 percent, that's right, 34 percent higher new-customer acquisition.

Solidsoft, one of our partners in the U.K., they've been with us for over 20 years too. This year, they're cloud partner of the year. And they're a great example of a company that's using hybrid as their strategy to win. Let's take a look.

(Video segment: Solidsoft.)

JON ROSKILL: So you heard it from Darren, you heard it from Solidsoft, and I hear it every day from partners. Hybrid is our secret sauce. It is our differentiation. Nobody in the industry has the complete solution that we can offer to our customers. So cloud is that door-opener, and hybrid is the closer.

The next insight I want to share with you is about getting to know the CMO. The CIO is not the only customer in town anymore. It's the CSO, the chief sales officer, it's the CMO, the chief marketing officer, the chief operating officer. These line-of-business leaders, they now hold the purse strings on a large portion of the IT budget. And I can tell you, they think very differently and it's very important to understand that for the future of your business.

And here's why: 41 percent today, already 41 percent of IT budget is coming from line-of-business functions. And that's only going to grow over the coming years. Let's hear more about this trend, about the importance of getting to know the CMO from Tiffani Bova, an analyst at Gartner and a Microsoft partner Chris Hertz.

(Video Segment: Gartner Tiffani B/New Signature.)

JON ROSKILL: (Applause.) Thank you, Tiffani, and to Chris. Chris's success in talking to these line-of-business leaders really is an example of how to engage in this new customer type. Partners focusing on line-of-business leaders, or the CXO audience, are going to expand their access to budget by 41 percent. That's pretty incredible.

So your customers are evolving, but you know what? Your teams need to evolve too. What if I told you you could get 30 percent more return on each of your employees? 30 percent. That's what the third insight from the IDC study uncovered. These cloud-oriented partners are getting higher returns because they've optimized their teams for the cloud.

The good news here is you can do this naturally as an extension of the structure you already have. Let's take a look.

Here's a typical on-premises engagement model. Yours might be a little different. You've got distinct technical staff working on an individual project, an architect, perhaps a project manager, and maybe a DVA.

The structure works, and it's pretty efficient for on-premises. As you add other projects, you scale out laterally. You add another team. But selling in the cloud changes the game. These top-performing partners said cloud orientation allowed them to restructure their team. The results are fewer people driving more business to more customers.

First, they re-allocate their senior technical staff across more projects. This means that their skill sets have to evolve, though. Technical delivery people, they have to become more well rounded because, guess what? They've got to go out and interact with customers now. By optimizing these teams, you need fewer project managers, fewer DVAs.

The top-performing partners in this study, they also were able to charge fixed fees on projects. This allows them to drive down the cost of delivery. It's really impressive what this cloud delivery model is able to do, and yes, there is an opportunity cost here, and that's that you're going to have to do some retraining. But these partners are seeing the value.

Again, cloud-oriented partners in the IDC study are seeing 30 percent more revenue, 30 percent more revenue per employee than the traditional IT partners.

So partners ask you, how should I get going at this? And what we've seen is partners have started perhaps by testing out this model on some of your nonprofit or some of your pro-bono work where there's not as much exposure.

Now, let's move to what may be the most impactful insight from the study. Scaling with your own IP. When you think about the future of your business and the way you're going to make money with Microsoft, you have to think about the value add that you, your company, is going to bring to the cloud conversation with the customer.

Our most successful partners are scaling with their own IP. And so can you. So what does that mean? Traditional partners are still going to see respectable growth by providing these project-oriented services. But the first step is to start doing managed services. Start doing a managed service offering through the cloud. These are things like billable, packaged services. Maybe a help desk. This allows you to start seeing annuity streams of revenue.

But the next step, the real Nirvana point to get to here is taking your own unique IP and packaging it up as a product service that you can then deliver to customers. This will offer the opportunity to achieve those higher margins, and really, ultimately, the higher valuation for your companies.

Let's hear about this from the experts.

(Video segment: Darren Bibby - Catapult Video.)

JON ROSKILL: So great success from Catapult, and they aren't alone. The partners in the study who act on these insights saw 1.6X, that's right, 1.6X higher gross profit margins. Isn't this something that you guys would all like? Think about what that would mean to your business.

So following any of these insights will make a significant impact on your business. But let's look at what happens if you put them all together. When it all comes together, you get increased customer acquisition, greater access to budget, higher revenue per employee, and even more gross profit margins. Adding it all up, you get the growth rate of 2.4X. The cloud partners in this study, again, 2.4X faster growth than the traditional IT partners, 2.4X. Think about it. That is powerful, powerful stuff.

So partners, we've been talking about this over the last couple of days. Partners ask me: How do I ease into this? How do I get started? What should I be aspiring for?

And what I tell them is the aspiration should be what these cloud-oriented partners are showing. 50 percent or more, that's what you should be going for.

But the key is to get started, you've got to start somewhere, so just get going. Those of you who aren't doing it yet, I know you can do this. And these insights, these insights are here to help you. So, again, the study is up on DigitalWPC.com.

But we're also here to help you with the benefits that you get from being a member in the Microsoft Partner Network. Did you guys know that the average value of the membership of Microsoft Partner Network is $320,000? $320,000. Technical service benefits, internal use rights. I've been telling you guys, use the cloud to sell the cloud. Get up there. Use your internal use rights.

We've got the best training of any company in the industry, and of course incentives. So if you're not using your MPN benefits fully, go check it out at the MPN booth over in the convention center, or all of the information is up on the MPN portal.

Interestingly, IDC also found out that these cloud-oriented partners were succeeding for another reason. And that is because they use their MPN benefits more. Turns out, those successful cloud-oriented partners are using their benefits 1.5X more than the traditional IT partners. So I thought that was quite interesting.

So now, MPN, we're ready to take it to the next level. We've been running these separate cloud programs, and I'm here to announce today that it's all coming together this fiscal year. The cloud programs will come fully integrated into the MPN competencies and into the MPN subscriptions by January 2014. You're going to see specific cloud support, training, assessments, sales and marketing tools all integrated into the competency model because we want every partner, every partner to be able to go out and have that cloud conversation with their customers.

So as I told you at the beginning, we truly are at an inflection point. Together, we have emerged as the leaders in this cloud world. But there's still a long way to go in this transition, and we are just getting started. There's a lot of opportunity for all of us ahead. And the time is now. The time is now and we can do this together.

Remember, we go to market with partners. We go to market with partners more than anybody in the industry. And what changes in this word of devices and services? What changes in this world of devices and services? Nothing. Absolutely nothing changes. We have a winning combination, Microsoft and its partners.

So the only question left now is: How far can we go? How far can we go, guys? Thank you very much. (Music, applause.)

END

Jon Roskill, Laura Ipsen and Lili Cheng: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Keynote

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Jon Roskill. (Music, applause.)

JON ROSKILL: All right, good morning, WPC 2013. What did you guys think about Alex Boye? Woo! (Cheers, applause.) Unbelievable up-and-coming musician. And Alex is going to be over at 1:00-2:00 in the Microsoft store over in the convention center. He'll be over there selling CDs, he'll be signing autographs. If you guys want to a chance to get over and meet Alex, meet and up-and-coming musician, take advantage of that opportunity.

So I want to start today -- we've got an unbelievable day in store for you here on day three. I want to start the day, though, by saying thanks to you all for your patience in waiting in line for the Surface. The Surface demand has even blown us away. We've gone through over 16,000 units over the last two days. I know we've got the line down, it's under half an hour now. And I was very happy to find out that the MPN sleeves arrived on Monday, they did clear customs. And so many of you have been picking those up. Again, it's a pretty cool memento and our way of saying thanks back to you for the partnership that you've shown us.

So let's get going with day three. Usually on day three we start off with a segment that we called Next. And in it, what we've done in the past is we've used it as a segment to show you some of the future technologies that are being worked on typically by Microsoft Research, sometimes involving partners, kind of give you a view out into the future, two, three, five years from now. What might we be working with? What sort of technology might be out there?

Today, we're going to take a slightly different approach, and we're going to try and give you some insight to the people that are behind the technology at Microsoft. We have thousands of people, literally, in Microsoft Research working on products all across the company. So we want to give you some insight into some of those people.

So we're going to do this in a format that followed the TED talk format. And I've invited three of them here to join me this morning at WPC. So let's get this segment kicked off. I want to introduce to you a woman named Lili Cheng. Lili is an 18-year veteran of Microsoft, and she has a very impressive background in creative, creative area, creative design, so here's Lili.

LILI CHENG: Thank you. (Applause.) So I'm going to start by telling you a little secret about myself. I actually began with a completely different career. I had a whole other career before computer science. I used to be an architect. And I built high-rise buildings and large-scale urban projects in Tokyo, where I was born, and also in Los Angeles.

So it's actually great to be in Houston because when I was in LA, some of the buildings that we built are actually in downtown Houston, so I've been checking them out. And I'm telling you this because for me, architecture was sort of my entry into computer science, and at the heart of the computer for me it's really about the creative experience.

So about 10 years ago at Microsoft, we had this idea which was to really rethink the operating system. What if Windows or any operating system, your phone, began not just with your information, but with all the information that you get inspired by that other people are creating? How could you organize that? How could you see it? And how could people really come to the forefront?

And that work really inspired the Windows team. So I really had the privilege during Windows Vista to actually pick up my research team and move to Windows Vista. And during Windows Vista, I ran the whole user experience team for that product. So I think I have had a really fortunate career in being able to move back and forth between research and product and kind of go back and forth. And I've done that several times.

So the work that I'm going to show you today kind of brings those two projects together. The heart, for me, of design and creativity on the PC, and this whole operating system idea that it really begins with work that's inspired by other people and people around you.

So let me show you some demos. So one of the things that we built is a social network, it's called So.cl. And the thing that we've looked at in social networks is what kind of information do people love to share really about topics of interest that they're most passionate about?

So this is a social -- you can actually go up and try it out, it's So.cl online. And these are some posts that people have made in the art category. And I'm always just so amazed at what people make by things that they're finding on the Web. Aren't these really beautiful posts? I think they're awesome. And let me show you how to make one.

So if I want to make a post, all I have to do is click this little "create" button. And I can type a topic. So, for example, my favorite architect in the world is a guy named Toyo Ito. And so rather than like a social network that you might use where you have to go out to the Web, you just type a word and we use Bing and we bring you all that information right at your fingertips. And then all you have to do is just click on a few pictures. You might find some movies of things. You can kind of dive in if you want to make it more -- you know, just click a little bit and you create, really, these beautiful posts.

You can shuffle those around and then really in like, what? Ten seconds? I can title it say, you know, "Toyo Ito is king." Right? If you're an architect. I can post these out to So.cl or Facebook or any of my favorite social networks and there you go. Hello. There it is. (Applause.)

So you can see, thank you, that hopefully we've made it really easy for people to create kind of a beautiful little postcard and share that out to their friends. If you think of today, the tools we have, it's actually kind of hard to make something like this and create it, and that's maybe the most simple create experience we have.

Well, in So.cl, we've actually taken this idea of create experiences and wrapping them with social networking and I'm going to show you two others. The next experiences, one is called Blink. It's about the combination of photos and videos, and then I'm going to show you some gaming things towards the end.

So one of the things that we noticed as we were building this is people love sharing -- these are just awesome, right? They love sharing photos and videos. And we started noticing that there were almost these magical photos that people were sharing. They look like a photo, and then suddenly you might notice that the woman's hair is moving or the water is kind of rippling. And it kind of catches your brain because you're so used to seeing still photos or video as a separate thing.

So we partnered with a team called -- another team in Microsoft Research that does amazing magic with photos and videos. And let me just show you that experience.

So if you have a Windows Phone or a Windows 8 PC, they have an app that you can download, it's called Blink. And we've sort of integrated the social network. So let me open a video and show you how you could make one of these kind of magic photos that's a still and video combination.

So I'm going to open up this fountain. So if I play this, this is just a video that I shot on a recent vacation, very exciting. Fountain with a little pigeon in it. So I'm going to make that more interesting, maybe.

So you just load that up. And I can say I really liked this water, so I'm going to animate that, maybe. And I really like that little pigeon. Where is he? I'm going to go find him. There he is. And he kind of starts here and then I think he kind of like walks over here. So now let's play that.

So now you see that the little pigeon and the water animating. (Applause, cheers.) Right? And the rest of that is still -- if you think of marketing or advertising or just sharing things with your friends, these are the kind of things that capture people's attention. So I was wishing that I had my camera as I was waiting because I thought that music show that we just saw would have been an awesome Blink to make.

And then I can just publish and share that. So without really leaving the app -- so I'm going to -- "pigeon walks" OK, it's going to be a great post. So that just posts out to the social network. And here you can see that we've brought the piece of social, the social network right into the application that a person who Blinks is going to be most interested in seeing.

So you're going to see all the other Blinks that other people are creating. And one of the things that I found is just seeing what everybody else is creating, sort of ups my game a little bit and inspires me to kind of look at the world as a photographer, a videographer, and capture kind of these magical moments and share them.

The other one is pretty cool, too. It's a little girl jumping as the puppet's moving, but the rest of the clocks in the background are sort of solid. And you can really kind of go through and see lots of other people's things.

So that's Blink. It's actually best on your phone because that's what you have when you're walking around. So I encourage you guys to check out Blink and Blink and So.cl.

So the last thing I'm going to show you guys is -- switch to my slides I think. It's a game that we've been building. This is a project called Kodu. And I think this is kind of one of the most inspiring things. We've created a game to teach kids programming. And just like I showed you to make the photo, we want to make it super easy for this -- for anyone to create a game.

So this is a little girl. I was teaching a class in LA. She can't read yet, and there she is coding a game. How cool is that? Awesome, right? And she's very intensely interested with her little Xbox controller.

And we have kids teaching kids. And I'll just walk you through a few slides, and then I'll end with a video on some future work that we're doing on Kodu. It's really easy. You don't even have to read text. It works really well across lots of languages. You design your game terrain and your background, and then you can program. And programming is as easy as the first line of code basically says I want this thing to glow blue. You know? Or when I click my Xbox controller, make something shine, something like that.

So it's really easy to make all the kind of common games that you like. And it's been really awesome for us to work with lots of partners like the people who do Sesame Street or the Boys and Girls Club, lots of academic organizations around the world. And we're really excited because we've been partnering with the Xbox team who just announced Spark two weeks ago or a couple weeks ago. And I'll show you a little video of that and you can check that stuff out.

If you want to see any of this work, you can just go to our website at Microsoft.com and download it. Everything is accessible and you can try it out and try it out and try out Project Spark, which is sort of the next version. It's coming, you can sign up for the beta, Project Spark. So let's see the video.

(Video Segment, Project Spark.)

JON ROSKILL: All right, so a hand for Lili. (Applause.) Super cool Blink, and Project Spark. I signed up for the beta. We had an internal beta that came out last weekend. I have two girls who are 13 and 15, and I'm thinking so hard about how to get them interested in technology and programming and that's absolutely a tool that I think is going to pull them into that world of technology.

So our next speaker is another 18-year veteran of Microsoft. He's coming also from the creative side. He's worked on the design team of many of the products at Microsoft. Let me please introduce Carl Ledbetter. (Applause.)

CARL LEDBETTER: Thanks, Jon. Hi. My name is Carl Ledbetter, I'm the creative director of industrial design for Xbox. And I have been at Microsoft for quite a while. I've actually been in design, industrial design for about 25 years. I've worked at a number of different companies, and on a number of fantastic programs that you might recognize.

But what I thought I'd do today is step back a little bit and take you on a little history about how I actually got into industrial design. I grew up in southwest Washington, actually in the foothills of Mount St. Helens, and in a very, very small town. And growing up around an active volcano, it actually had a big impact on my life.

One of the things was I was super interested in geology, of all things. Being surrounded by rocks, I used to like to make things. I used to do all kinds of things with rocks. In fact, one of the things I did as sort of an unusual hobby was I used to carve arrowheads. And so this is an actual arrowhead that I made when I was ten. And what I liked about doing it was the act of carving and creating these objects with material.

And these are the actual tools I used. So it starts with a piece of obsidian, which is volcanic glass. A piece of leather, and deer antler. And you carefully carve away to make this arrowhead.

And one of the things about it was this idea of using rocks and nature and geology. I naturally thought I was going to be a geologist. So I went to university to study geology and this whole idea of discovery and understanding the world was just fascinating to me. And the first thing that the instructor pointed out was, hey, it's already been discovered. And it was completely a dream-smasher, and it made me really question what I wanted to do.

So I took an engineering class. In one of my first classes, we were studying a part design. And so I raise my hand said, "Hey, can we change the way that part looks?" I didn't really like the way it looked. And the instructor was quick to point out, no, you can't change it. That's not what we do. If you want to do something like that, go be an industrial designer.

I'd never heard of industrial design before. I wanted to learn more. I actually walked over to the industrial design studio at the university. And when I opened the door, it opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me about design. I saw the sketches on the wall, the models of the ideas, and all these different things that people had been making, and it was a new world.

And so one of the things about design that I often think about, a lot of people perceive industrial design as just simply a way to make something pretty. And this quote from Frank Lloyd Wright, "Form follows function." That has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one joined in spiritual union. I've actually taken that to heart, and I think of it more in terms of solving real-life problems.

So design is being a problem-solver. It's about taking and creating simple and elegant solutions. And then if you think about going back to the act of making an arrowhead, it wasn't so much about the rock, it was more about the making. And so taking great pride in the craftsmanship of design.

So if we step back and say, you know, we've heard Jon and Steve talk about devices at Microsoft. You may not know this, but one of the first hardware designs that were built by Microsoft was back in 1980. And it was this soft card that people could load inside of a PC and it would enable it to run some software.

And in 1983, Microsoft actually designed -- there was one industrial designer in the company. Designed a mouse that was included with Microsoft Word, and that was to allow people to access the graphical user interface at the time. And so it was really about problem solving. How do you get these things together?

So in 1995 when I joined Microsoft to design the IntelliMouse, I was the third industrial designer. And I just loved the idea of connecting people to software through input devices.

Today, there are almost 50 industrial designers at Microsoft, and it's still growing. And I'm part of the team in Xbox that constitutes almost 30 people. And that includes industrial designers; color, materials, and finish experts; product developers; design managers -- it's a wide range of people, super talented, and they're international. We have designers from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, all around the world, a fantastic group of people.

And this is the team that designed Xbox One. So I'm going to take -- (Applause.) Are there Xbox people out there? Xbox owners? (Applause.)

So now I'm going to take you through the design process of Xbox One. We had to identify our opportunities and challenges. And so the first thing we did is we said, OK, we're going to design for the hardware, but we also have to think about the software. We also have to think about packaging and more importantly, all this new content that people can get to in Xbox. How do we make it simple and accessible?

These are big things. You know, Xbox is more than just games, it does all the entertainment people want.

And we also had to think about the greater Microsoft ecosystem. So the design language that we used for Xbox One, it's shared across Windows and Windows Phone. And so to customers, it's about being consistent.

We stepped back and looked at the history of Microsoft and Xbox when we think about the hardware. We thought really hard about Xbox, the original Xbox in 2001. It was a statement of raw power. In 2005 when 360 came out, it was about restrained power. And then in 2010 when Kinect came out, it was really a new type of interaction.

So we consciously said, hey, Xbox has a bold thing to say about itself. What are we going to do for Xbox One? And we said we wanted to make it understated. We wanted to make Xbox approachable. We wanted to make it simple and elegant, and we wanted it to be crafted and tailored. So it's all about quality.

And using those principles, we started to design. First thing we do is sketch. We build ideas, we start to understand what the form can be. And then in house, we have a model shop. We build three-dimensional models, we send the database over to the model shop, and we build these three-dimensional models. We can then take the models, put them in people's living rooms, start to see how it fits in, and more importantly work with the engineering team to understand how the parts go together.

We think about things like cooling and venting. What is the design going to look like? How is it going to fit together? And also how do we fit all these new types of technology into Kinect?

And based on that, we start to build the final shape. And so the design you see here, this is where we start applying things like gloss and matte finishes. How does the vent pattern look? How does the brand come through the front? How do we make the front look high quality just like the high-definition televisions in people's living rooms?

And so that's how we have the final design of the console. And just like I was talking about the idea of craftsmanship, going back to that arrowhead, we craft every last detail on the front bezel, on the console, and the way that brand comes through in a consistent lighting effect.

On the controller, we built over 200 models. And I actually have one right here. This is an example of the model. It's a rapid prototype, it's printed out right there at Microsoft. And we found that people when you put these in their hands could tell the difference between a tenth of a millimeter in size. And so we made it more comfortable. We've made the new controller fit a larger range of hand sizes. And we also added new things like improved D-pad performance, and also a lot of detail went into the thumb sticks.

And so I think you can see here in this image, we put a micro texture. And this micro texture allows for multiple thumb grips and access and the new ABXY buttons use a three-shot injection molding process that makes them feel almost jewel like. So when you look at the 360 controller or the Xbox One controller from across the room, you can tell the difference.

So that was a lot to talk about. I know it was a brief introduction. But this is the design process we used for Xbox. We range from an architectural more crisp design language that people can put in their living rooms and in their AV cabinet to more sculpted and softer shapes for the controller. And that's how we designed Xbox One. We're really proud of it, and we're super excited about it, and I hope you are too. Thank you. (Applause.)

JON ROSKILL: Thank you, Carl. Any of you guys excited to get your hands on an Xbox One? (Cheers, applause.) Yeah. I know a lot of you have -- they say they have kids that play it, but I know a lot of you are sneaking it in yourselves.

So our final guest this morning is a gentleman named David Heckerman, also from Microsoft Research. 20 years he's been working on solving some of technology's deepest and thorniest problems that also are society's deepest and thorniest problems. So with that, let me go ahead and introduce David.

DAVID HECKERMAN: Thanks, Jon. (Applause.)

So let me take you back to 1996. It was a simpler time. A time when you got an e-mail, you either knew who it was from, or you wanted to know who it was from. That all changed in early 1997. This is one of the first new kinds of e-mail messages I got. My wife's name is Susan, but she never uses the nickname Susie. And so I was wondering who this Susie character was. And I guess you can imagine my surprise at what I saw when I clicked on that link. (Laughter.)

Of course I'm talking about junk mail or spam, and in January of 1997, I got about a dozen of these messages in rapid succession and I knew things were going to get very bad very fast.

Fortunately, I was at Microsoft Research. I was trained in machine learning. And I could see how machine learning could help fight spam. I sent an e-mail to my team saying, "Save all your junk mail, we're going to build a machine learning classifier that distinguishes good mail from bad." We did that, it worked very well, and eventually the technology made its way into various Microsoft products like Outlook, Exchange and Hotmail.

So something very interesting happened when these filters saw a wide distribution. Let me give you an example. So our filter would see the word "Viagra" in an e-mail and know very likely that that e-mail was spam and filter it out.

Well, the spammers figured this out and they disguised the word Viagra. They took the last "A" out and put in an "@" sign. So now the human still sees Viagra, still sees the message, but our junk mail filter doesn't see the word "Viagra" and misses the message.

Eventually, we figured that out, made our junk mail filters see "Viagra" with the "@" sign, and then spammers would try something else clever. This time, they would embed the word "Viagra" in a bitmap. Again, we, the humans, can see the message, but our filters can't.

So this went back and forth for quite a while. And at some point, we said, "We've got to step back here and think a little bit more strategically."

And we realized there's a weak link of these spammers. They want to get money from you. So let's go after that weak link. And we started cataloging links to Web pages that would take money from you, for example, with a credit card. And then when a new e-mail message came in with one of those links, we know very likely it's spam and we'd filter it out. So that strategy worked very well, and as far as I know, it's still in place today.

Now let me fast forward about six years. It turns out, I also have an MD. I'm very interested in how computation can help healthcare. And I got very interested in HIV and designing a vaccine for HIV.

I met my collaborator, Bruce Walker, at Harvard and we've been working on this project ever since. So let me tell you a little bit about it.

It turns out there's a striking similarity between fighting spam and fighting HIV. Just as spammers change or mutate their messages to work around our filters, just as I showed you, HIV mutates itself to avoid attack by the immune system. And Bruce Walker and I are now essentially using the same high-level strategy to go after HIV, namely, to go after its weak link or weak links.

So if we switch video, I'll explain that in a bit more detail. This is one of HIV's proteins. It's a molecule consisting of a string of amino acids that folds together in some 3-D shape and performs some function.

Unfortunately, that function is very destructive for humans. Now when you get infected with HIV, your immune system essentially attacks at some random spot along this molecule, let's say down here. And with that attack, HIV is forced to mutate at that particular site.

Now, unfortunately, HIV is very robust. So when it attacks -- sorry, when it mutates at one of these random sites, it generally functions quite well. It's like the spammers adding that "@" sign to Viagra, the message still gets through.

But the hope is that there are some vulnerable sites on this molecule. Let's say right here where these two loops come together. And so if the immune system attacks here and forces a mutation here, the hope is then that this molecule's function will be severely crippled.

If that's the case, we can build a vaccine to teach your immune system to attack precisely at these vulnerable spots, and not at any of these many random spots where attack would just waste the time and energy of the immune system.

So now if we could go back to the slides, turns out my collaborator Bruce Walker had identified a set of individuals that made it possible to look for these vulnerable sites. In particular, he identified people known as "HIV controllers." These are people who get HIV but don't get very sick. To them, HIV is more like a common cold. That's in contrast to the many, many normal people who when they get HIV, they get very sick.

So what we were able to do is look to see where the immune systems of these HIV controllers were attacking HIV along this molecule and compare that to where the immune systems of normal people were attacking HIV along this molecule. Sure enough, we found differences. And those differences point to these vulnerable spots.

Today, we've cataloged about a half dozen of these spots. Also working with a friend of mine from medical school, Reid Rubsamen, together we've designed a delivery mechanism for this vaccine. And we're gearing up to test this combination now in South Africa.

But there's still at least one important challenge that remains. Turns out, there are lots and lots of different immune systems. The chances that you or I have the same immune system are very small. And if you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. If we all had the same immune systems and a virus were to come along that could kill one of us, it could kill all of us.

So long ago, mother nature figured out that that's a bad idea and gave us these different immune systems. Now, the challenge comes from the fact that these different immune systems don't all attack HIV, they're not capable of attacking HIV at the same spots. And so what we need to do is catalog enough vulnerable sites such that all these different immune system types, or at least the vast majority of them, will be able to attack at least one of these vulnerable sites that we've cataloged.

So we're doing that now. It involves the use of a lot of data and a lot of computation to identify likely candidates, which then get validated in the lab. Unfortunately, I don't have time to go into the details of this, but if you're interested, you can check it out on my Web page.

With that, I'd like to say thanks for listening. I'd also like to say thank you to Microsoft and Microsoft Research. As you've heard, I've been there for 20 years. And as you've seen, they've given me the opportunity to work on many problems ranging from fighting spam to fighting HIV. I can't imagine a place with more breadth or flexibility. Thanks again. (Applause.)

JON ROSKILL: Thank you, David. Three people, three of the thousands of people working at Microsoft that are working on technology that will, of course, impact our products, but we think actually go much more broadly and impact lives.

So now let's shift gears a little bit. On Monday we made an announcement of a public-sector initiative called CityNext. And it's an effort that's very much involving partners, and it's something that we think is going to impact cities and people around the world.

So with that, I'd like to go ahead and bring up Laura Ipsen to help share some of the news on CityNext. (Applause.)

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, Laura Ipsen. (Music, applause.)

LAURA IPSEN: Good morning, everyone. It's great to be back at WPC. You know, last year I talked to all of you about our national plan work and how you can get involved in shaping economic impact and social issues at a country level.

Well, I want to thank all of you because you all helped us create over 50,000 startups in 100 countries worldwide. Congratulations. (Applause.)

You know, this year I want to take that national plan to the local level with an initiative we call CityNext. If you think about it, it's the first time in history that over 50 percent of our population lives in cities.

This creates enormous challenges and opportunities for cities around the world, and we believe that technology can be a true differentiator, and your solutions can play a pivotal role.

Perhaps there's no other author than Thomas Friedman who told us about the impact that technology has on the world. He wrote that book that the world is flat. And he said the world is hot. Kind of as in Houston. Flat and crowded. And it's forcing businesses and governments and cities to rethink and reimagine how we run in the future.

Why? Because it's the nexus of both globalization and informatization that's changed the economics and social construct forever. It's truly turned the world upside down.

You know, 80 percent of the world's GDP is in cities. And also the majority of resources and over 75 percent of energy is also consumed in cities.

So it means that we all need to care about the future of cities, think about how we build technology solutions for healthier, safer, and more sustainable cities as well.

When you look at it, there are truly four compelling forces that are changing the expectations of citizens, putting pressures on governments. The first is around urbanization. Many people are flocking to cities to find the next-level opportunities and jobs. By 2050, the United Nations predicts that over 70 percent of us will live in urban centers. And in emerging markets, it's growing at over a million persons a week.

When it comes to modernization, it doesn't matter if you're an old or new city, cities are making investments to compete. And the data shows that over $350 trillion will be spent on infrastructure by 2050.

We'd also look at informatization as a huge force, how technology is making a difference in transforming all of us into this information society.

And there are over $100 billion spent on ICP in cities annually. That's a huge opportunity not only to scale, but to replicate the success globally.

Now, when it comes to globalization and when you read a lot of Thomas Friedman's work, globalizations says, wow, we've created enormous opportunities for some countries. Small countries have become quite big. But it also means that there's challenges. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a week. So now is the time for all of us to work together, harness our collective forces, and be thoughtful on a strategic approach around cities which we call CityNext.

I wanted to share a little bit about the Microsoft strategy of CityNext. It's not that we haven't been working in cities already, we have a huge footprint. We've been working with many of you in cities to do transformational work. But today it's really about moving beyond technology capacity to human capacity.

For Microsoft, it's leveraging that business model putting people first in our approach to innovation. It's about empowering citizens and business and governments to shape the future. How? We have this fantastic secure platform and we work with all of you, over 430,000 partners of all sizes to build new, innovative solutions.

And why now, you ask? Well, I think it's a fantastic time to leverage our move to devices and services. We're also the only company, as you heard from Steve Ballmer on Monday, that has a cloud strategy that fits all cities. Governments are looking for private cloud, and it was great to hear that private cloud is here to stay. That's an important message to cities. But it's about a public, private, and hybrid cloud. For cities to move to cloud at their pace on their terms.

We're also the only company that has a public approach that can go end to end with citizens and consumers to enterprise and cities. With our partners, we truly believe that we can deliver a one-city experience across all eight of these functional areas you see. From healthcare and energy to education to transportation and many others.

So I wanted to share a little bit of what you can hear from city leaders in the world.

(Video segment: CityNext)

LAURA IPSEN: (Applause.) So I want to thank many of our partners who are already working in these cities and the city leaders for truly having a real impact.

Now, the way that we're going about CityNext is really reimagining cities around three key pillars. The first is around transformation. Transformation of operations and infrastructure, work that many of us are already doing. You know, today cities are on this daily diet of austerity. They need to save money. They're consolidating IT, and they have a lot of pressure to do more with less.

And ICT gives a major return on their investments. At Microsoft, we're building that secure platform, we're modernizing datacenters, and we're moving services to the cloud.

Let me give you two examples. In Chicago, we're moving over 30,000 government workers into the cloud with Office 365, saving the city over the next three years, $400,000.

Just yesterday in Seattle, we made an announcement with Mayor McGinn, we made an announcement working with Accenture to help Seattle use real-time data in the cloud for energy management. The city has set a goal to save 50 percent of their energy by 2030.

In other areas, we're really using that real-time cloud data to produce next-generation dashboards with partners like BizSmart and Extended Results, we're using real-time data from the cloud to do new things. We're working with partners like OSIsoft to use their Pi System to capture real time and then have historical data, so leaders can make smart decisions. And with Sequana (ph.), we have an amazing partnership where they're building open data on Azure, creating these dashboards of the future.

So, truly, when you think about it with mobility, cloud, and everything else, all of these are examples of how we can do new with less in cities. It helps cities in terms of their agility and speed to making decisions as well.

The second pillar is around engaging citizens and businesses. You know, in this new world of online, real time, we can use social media, new applications with Windows 8, and all of our innovative technologies to make a difference in cities. With our partner, KMD Online Care in Denmark, which I recently visited, we're doing such amazing things using Kinect for virtual healthcare for the elderly.

And we didn't stop there. Our partners said, well, if we can provide this for the elderly, let's scale it to 1.8 million citizens who need things like physical rehabilitation and health in home. This is saving millions on Denmark, and truly an opportunity of doing new with less.

We're also working with Itron and they just delivered a really cool app, Itron Insights, that helps us all look at viewing our energy and water consumption and how we can manage reduction of CO2.

Finally, you saw a little bit about Hainan Province in China. We've got a fantastic tourism app that helps attract lots of new visitors and have an amazing experience there.

And today, in our store, we have over 10,000 applications around healthcare, education, and government engaging citizens, businesses, and governments in new ways. And all of these are examples of doing not only more, but new with less.

The third pillar is about acceleration. It's about acceleration of innovation and opportunities. At the end of the day, what do cities really want? They want economic growth and jobs. It's jobs, jobs, jobs.

Now, 90 percent of the jobs in the next five years are going to require ICT skills. The good news for Microsoft and all of our partners are that we invest in education, skill sets, and building jobs.

We have a long history. Probably one of the premier examples of that is our program Partners in Learning. It's a platform. It's a platform for using IT in education, and it's a platform where we've invested, and over the next 15 years will be a total of $750 million with support from many of our partners. It includes over 12 million teachers, students, and it's part of an amazing collaboration.

We also have YouthSpark, where we're creating 300 million job opportunities in the next three years, BizSpark for entrepreneurs, and IT academies for professional development.

Finally, I want to showcase a picture here at Imagine Cup. Imagine Cup creates entrepreneurs of the future. And the next Imagine Cup will wrap up in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week with over 300 students from 69 countries competing for over a million dollars in prizes.

But what's really important is building off of Microsoft technology and it's creating IT skills for the future. With public-private partnership, those are truly the key for sustainable growth, and that's how we're accelerating economic growth and opportunities.

Finally, I think we have to all say to you, how do you get involved? How do we empower our partners to continue the amazing work that you're all doing in cities already? On our Public Sector team, we have over 2,000 experts globally that are working with many other Microsoft organizations and our BGs to provide three things: First is an innovative framework where we provide technical engagements, reference models, delivering cross-functional solutions.

We're also working with you to scale and replicate globally by providing sales engagement, account plans, and referrals around the world. So you can take solutions that have really worked and build them in other parts of the world.

But it comes down to execution. And when it comes to execution, it means executing locally, building those one-to-one account plans, go-to-market campaigns, and providing more relevance around these three pillars and letting you know how you can get more involved in the work that we're doing in cities.

We truly believe that CityNext will amplify the great work that we're all doing already and it will accelerate new opportunities to have a real impact in cities.

Finally, I want to say please get engaged. Please join these next sessions that we have this afternoon. We're excited to share more with you and dive much deeper in how we're building this ecosystem across many different venues.

You know, Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change that you want to see in the world." I hope you'll all join us in CityNext. Thank you. (Applause.)

END

Jon Roskill: Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 Day 1 Close

JON ROSKILL: All right, Satya, thank you so much.

So an amazing morning, lots and lots of content. I told you it was a super session. You know, we had touch. Clearly we're in an inflection point around Cloud OS and Office 365.

So I just wanted to touch on four important points, really announcements that are made today, that are really going to help you as partners put all of this into action.

No. 1, Tami mentioned the Touch Wins program. The Touch Wins program is about pouring gasoline on that touch fire, millions of dollars of incentives that we're going to put in place for authorized OEM distributors and resellers that are reselling touch, featured touch PCs and tablets with Windows 8 Professional. So that's the Touch Wins program.

The second program is around our own tablet. Our own tablet, of course, is the Microsoft Surface. And last week we announced availability in the United States of the Microsoft Devices Program. It's our first step into commercial distribution for the Microsoft Surface, something partners around the world have been asking me about since we first put Surface in the market last fall.

So I'm very excited to be here today to tell you that we're taking the Microsoft Devices Program, the next phase, 28 more countries by the end of September. And you see that featured on the map above me. Again it's a thoughtful phased approach of bringing business customers, commercial customers the Microsoft Surface.

The third announcement, and this one is also super, super important for Microsoft partners, is around Office 365 Open. And Tami touched on this but I want to be really clear on this, that we're making the announcement today of availability of Office 365 E1, E3 Pro Plus, plus Government and Academic SKUs, all of those SKUs are going to be available in Office 365 Open. (Applause.) That's right. Now, that's a big deal because Office 365 is already one of the most heavily incented products that we have, and this is just going to massively expand the surface area for partner opportunity around Office 365 through Open licensing.

The second pieced around that, though, is we're also going to make available transition SKUs. We're finding that a lot of customers, they get into something like Small Business and they want to go to Small Business Premium. And previously you haven't been able to do that. And now partners are going to be able to offer those transition paths to customers as well.

So that's Office 365 Open. This is something you guys asked about all the time. So I'm super excited to be able to come here and talk to you about this.

All right, the last news of the morning is around profitability. And partners who have worked with me, you guys know core to my job is focusing on your profitability. And also since I started the job three years ago, it's been cloud, cloud, cloud, right?

So really excited to be able to announce today the release of an IDC cloud partner profitability study. We're releasing this up onto -- it will be up on DigitalWPC.com. I'll talk more about it on Wednesday. But the insights in the study are just amazing. You know, one that Satya touched on, partners doing more than 50 percent of their business in the cloud are growing 2.4x, 240 percent more than partners that aren't, OK? So you want to be thinking about the cloud obviously. This study helps quantify all of that.

All of these announcements are up on my blog. You can get to that from DigitalWPC.com.

Amazing morning. Thank you so much to all of you for sticking with us. Have a great WPC, and I'll see you back on Wednesday. (Applause.)

END

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