imageHave you ever looked back and seen days that may not have seemed like a big deal when they took place, but in retrospect were days that you will remember for a long time to come?  Well, I believe today is one of those days.  Why?  I’m glad you asked.

Now you might think it could be because of our record setting quarterly financial results that we announced yesterday which showed 59% increase in Operating Income, 51% increase in Net Income, and 55% increase in Earnings Per Share, or that Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history (selling 7 copies per second after launch!), or that Office 2010 is the fastest selling consumer version of Office in history (30 copies sold a minute).  Sure, those are some really amazing results but that’s only part of the story that talks about where we are today.  Now don’t get me wrong…  Where we are today is REALLY exciting; however, where we are going “tomorrow” (figuratively speaking) is even MORE exciting!  As I went through the day yesterday and woke up today, I couldn’t help but think about where we are today and what is coming, and that’s when the importance of today set in, as I look to what is just around the corner. 

  • Today: Record setting results, outperforming all expectations
  • Tomorrow: Changing the landscape forever!

So what does “tomorrow” hold that makes me so much more excited for the future than even the amazing place we are today?

1) Microsoft Partner Network – Ok, this one is almost literally “tomorrow.”  The new Microsoft Partner Network brings with it amazing opportunities for partners to differentiate themselves, gain more targeted benefits to help them grow their core businesses, showcase their skillsets and expertise, connect with communities that spark innovation and connection, build new businesses, connect with more customers & partners, strengthen organizational and people capabilities, expand current offerings, build their expertise to help them serve customers better, capture the “cloud” opportunity and so much more.  Now some will say, “but this is change and change and I don’t like change.”  Well, this reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”  As people know, the world of business is changing and the way people consume, access, and utilize data and computing power is changing, from consumers to businesses and everyone in between.  The Microsoft Partner Network is designed (with input and feedback from our partners directly) to help partners, new and existing, to capture the broad opportunities that not only today’s environment offers, but also as well as what tomorrow brings to the table by offering the tools, resources, benefits, and more to “capture the wind” and reach their goals.

2) Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Microsoft Kinect will change the gaming and entertainment world as we know it, not only today, but also into the future.  Launching next week, Microsoft Kinect has already sold out for pre-orders from many online retailers and sold out in minutes recently on HSN as well.  (Check out the HSN video to see Kinect in action as they use it while selling out) I recently put up a post here on the blog regarding Kinect and I would invite you to read it to see why I am (and soooooo many more are) so excited about Kinect: Microsoft Kinect – One month until the gaming & entertainment world changes forever!

3) Microsoft Windows Phone 7 – With Windows Phone 7, the Microsoft Team started from scratch and created an entirely new platform to change the way people interact and use their mobile devices moving forward.  This new mobile phenomenon launched last week in Europe (I was lucky enough to be in Paris during this time) and launches here in the U.S. on November 8th.  I have a bunch of information on Windows Phone 7, including videos, resources, and much more in my Windows Phone 7 information and resources - Everything you love, easier and faster post here on the blog.  Again, it’s not just me that’s excited about this new offering.  Here’s just one example of a recent headline by the press about Windows Phone 7: “Windows Phone 7 Will Be a Serious Game-Changer.  Love it or hate it, the new Windows Phone 7 mobile OS has success written all over it.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself!

4) Microsoft Office 365 - Microsoft Office 365, which we announced on October 19th and will be coming in the near future, brings with it a transformational moment for Microsoft and the solutions we provide to companies around the world, as well as outlining a new frontier for our Microsoft Office business.  Microsoft Office 365 will bring enterprise computing capabilities to companies of all sizes, while opening up huge new opportunities for our Microsoft partners around the world!  I have two posts on Microsoft Office 365 I would encourage you to take a look at:

5) Microsoft Azure Platform – The Microsoft Azure platform is transforming the way people develop and deliver solutions around the world today, and we’re only at the beginning of this incredible wave!  Between Microsoft Windows Azure, which provides a scalable environment with compute, storage, hosting, and management capabilities for people to develop and deliver upon, and Microsoft SQL Azure, which provides you with your data: anyplace, anytime since SQL Azure is a full relational database in the cloud, the Windows Azure Platform will bring capabilities and scale never available before to developers and companies around the world while transforming the way these solutions are developed and delivered.  This will create fantastic opportunities for businesses, developers, and our partners.  Be sure to check out the Microsoft Azure Platform site for more information on this incredible offering.

6) Microsoft CRM 2011 – This latest version of CRM is currently in beta and is another of the fantastic new releases that will change the way people do business and create incredible opportunities for our partners.  Feedback from press, partners, testers, etc. on the new CRM 2011 only fuel my excitement about what CRM 2011 will bring in the future for Microsoft, our partners, and our customers around the world.  Head on out to the Microsoft CRM 2011 site and take a look at the videos, resources, and information about CRM 2011, as well as getting the beta for yourself to see what all of the excitement is about.

7) Windows Small Business Server 7 & Aurora – For well over a decade, Windows Small Business Server has been a trusted solution for small businesses worldwide and soon the next generation will be upon us.  Windows Small Business Server 7 and Aurora will provide capabilities to small businesses everywhere to take advantage of a centralized computing platform in a very cost-effective, yet powerful way.  With these next generation offerings, partners will play a pivotal role and have enormous opportunities to showcase their talents in helping small businesses embrace the power of technology in their businesses.  Check out this Windows Small Business Server page for information on both of these offerings.

8) Microsoft Windows Intune – Another new innovation coming from Microsoft this fiscal year, Windows Intune will help simplify managing and securing PCs using Windows cloud services and Windows 7.  This will bring new capabilities to businesses of all sizes and provide another new opportunity for partners from Microsoft.  I have a post on Windows Intune here on the blog that I would encourage you to look at for more information: Microsoft Windows Intune – Information & resources for you

9) Microsoft Lync  Server 2010 – Microsoft Lync Server 2010 ushers in a new connected user experience transforming every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere.  Lync will literally transform the way people communicate with each other and it brings together a wonderful set of tools through a very simple interface, making powerful communication easy for the masses.  If you are not familiar with Microsoft Lync Server 2010 yet, you need to be.  Take a look at the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 page for more information.

10) Bing & IE9 – Yeah, I know, Bing is not “just around the corner.”  Bing is here today and it is continuing to win hearts and minds while capturing more and more share at the same time.  So why am I so excited about Bing for the future?  As the saying goes, “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”  Smile  In all seriousness, the Microsoft Bing Team is a phenomenal group and they are doing some amazing things every day, as you have already seen in what Bing has brought to the world so far.  As we move forward, I believe the Bing Team will continue to set the standard moving forward and will continue to transform the way people discover and consume information as THE “decision engine”.  In conjunction with the new innovations that Internet Explorer 9 has brought to the online browsing and experience, this duo is set to have huge positive impacts for users everywhere.

11) Partners – Microsoft has built it’s business around partners from the beginning and I firmly believe that we have the strongest, most vibrant partner ecosystem in the world with an amazing set of partners that we work with every day.  (It’s one of the reasons I love my job!)  Having worked for a partner, owned and run my own partner company, and working with partners at Microsoft, looking at all of the existing opportunities set to expand and the new opportunities about to become available for us and our partners, I believe that the journey we are about to embark on together will bring forward an unbelievably bright future.

And these are just 11 of the items!  (There are so many more that could be included)  So as I stand here today looking at not only what we have accomplished so far but at all that we have just in front of us, I think that today is a day that we will remember for a long time to come as not only a high point of how far we have come (as highlighted in our amazing results yesterday), but also as the first step to changing the landscape in an enormously positive way for customers and partners of all sizes around the world moving into the future.  Now I know that this is simply my opinion that I am voicing and I’m happy to hear what you think, so feel free to comment and let me know.  Here’s looking to the future and what it will bring!

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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