Microsoft Talks Up the Future

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is taking place this week (July 10 – 14) in Los Angeles, with some 15,000 from around the globe in attendance at the Staples Center. It’s a huge event, with over 100 breakout sessions each day, 22 regional keynotes and country breakouts. To kick-off the show, CEO Steve Ballmer said that, thanks to partners, Windows 7 has sold more than 400 million licenses in less than two years, and is still the fastest-selling operating system in history.

Here are some  other interesting tidbits from the conference:

  • More than 50,000 businesses and organizations have started trials of Office 365 -- a rate of more than one every 25 seconds in the two weeks since the cloud-based productivity service was released.
  • The next update of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be available in fourth quarter 2011. Microsoft currently has more than 30,000 Dynamics CRM customers and more than two million users.
  • Xbox Live TV will be available for the holiday season! 
  • Lots of talk about cloud-computing -- 58% of partners attending the event have been working with Microsoft cloud solutions.
  • For every dollar Microsoft makes, partners make $8.70.
  • Microsoft believes the company and its partners can cut the costs of smartphones running the company's mobile operating system by as much as half over the next year as a plethora of new devices hit the market.
  • Microsoft is ramping up its retail expansion, with 75 more Microsoft retail stores over next 2-3 years, according to Kevin Turner. 

Among the most interesting exhibits in the hall is Microsoft Surface, a multi-touch “Windows” display table that is very cool -- with great applicability for retail stores. In fact, it already is being deployed  in Microsoft freestanding stores, where it helps customers learn about various products, and also in Hard Rock Café locations in Las Vegas, Seattle, Orlando, Los Angeles and Berlin.

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