News From Microsoft's World Partner Conference

Posted by Optimation Editor on 25 July 2011

While those of us stuck in New Zealand shiver through the first big winter storms, Optimation's own Neil and Sharon Butler are off in sunnier climes, enjoying the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. This is a massive event, with around 12,000 attendees and a dizzying array of sessions to choose from. Given our roots and our focus on the software development life cycle, we Optimates are particularly interested in the latest developments related to the core MS application platform, including things like SQL Server's BI capabilities, BizTalk for integration, and Visual Studio.

On the solution side, we provide consultancy around SharePoint Server and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for our clients as well as using these platforms internally, so Neil and Sharon have instructions to bring us back all the intelligence they can on best practice and on the ways other companies are using CRM and SharePoint to improve their businesses. We're also very interested to hear what Microsoft has to say about the progress of its mobile and cloud offerings.

Neil and Sharon will be sharing the highlights of the conference from a Kiwi perspective when they return, but in the meantime here are a few interesting snippets from the first day -

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used his opening keynote address to highlight the company's on-going success with Microsoft Office and Windows 7, but admitted there is still a way to go with Windows Phone 7.

He also focused heavily on integration opportunities , particularly between on-premise and in-the cloud offerings such as the Azure public cloud and Office 365. The latter seems to be off to a good start since its June launch, with 50,000 businesses signing up in the first two weeks and some positive reviews out of the gate.

In other news, Microsoft has now sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses so the drive is on to move all users off XP. The company took the opportunity at the conference to announce that as of July 11, customers have 1000 days until support for Windows XP ends.