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One of things I want to get at here is how you view the partner ecosystem. What percent of your partners have the right business model?
There is one big theme of change in our industry that our channel will embrace. I hope our channel embraces it all at the right time. But it is an important change.It is a change we are in. And that is really the change to the cloud. The change on the device side makes a difference. But the change on the cloud side makes a bigger difference. If you look at the mix of people whose business is deployment and services, infrastructure services, hosting. There will be a shift.
In general I think if you go out 10 years the channel will be more focused in on App Development and Business Application Value and a little less focused in on infrastructure than it is today and deployment. I think that shift will happen. I am not trying to tell anybody it has to happen yesterday. It will happen at its pace.
But I do think that partner conference- what year are we in 2012- 2022 that partner conference will have a different kind of a makeup. And it may happen before that. And that can be sometimes disquieting to people, uncomfortable. But that is an inevitable shift. It is an inevitable shift. And it is a shift not just to private cloud. But it really is a net shift. Because private cloud is let me say data center servers done right. That is really what we are doing with Hyper V , with virtualization, with Windows Server. And that is a big opportunity. I am not going to try to take anything away from it over the next two or three years, but more things will move to the public cloud over that period of time which will be more of the value that gets created in the channel will be created on doing things that are unique and valuable that the business users see as opposed to just that the IT department sees.
So to that point what these guys want Steve is the ability to sell everything from Microsoft A to Z. A Microsoft phone. A Microsoft Tablet and white label it.
In a world of devices and services I think we took a big step forward with the partners today with Office 365 Open. Big step forward.
What it lets them do actually is say okay we know how to offer an integrated package of our value without us really doing the management, the deployment and everything else. It really I think will be a trigger point for letting the channel, the partners really embrace 365. And you are pointing out some other places where our partners would like to see us open things up. If we came from a world of software we are moving now to a world in which software gets embedded in hardware and in cloud services and we are going to continue to be the company that is most channel friendly if you will in embracing that. Good feedback. But I think Office 365 represents a big step in that direction on the cloud side.
Will these guys be able to bill it themselves with services like Yammer, Skype. You did it with 365. Are we going to see more of it?
I think we understand what our partners want to be able to do. What we are trying to do is two things: we want to enable our partners to do what they want to do and we want to enable our customers to do what they want to do. Sometimes those things can come in the short run a little bit into conflict. Customers are more eager to embrace something where we haven’t fully evolved the business model. But we are going where our customers want to go and we understand and will continue to evolve how our partners can plug into it. Because we know the only way to sell at the scale we want to sell is through this community of partners.
Thirty years on. Going into your 12th year as CEO. How does it feel and what do you want your legacy to be when you move on?How do you feel going into the new fiscal year.
Look, I am not a legacy guy and I am not a fiscal year guy. I’m neither one of those. But I am a guy who understands sort of timing and big moments. This is an epic time! Look I can honestly say: the founding of Microsoft, the launch of the PC, Windows 95 and Windows 8 are the four big moments in Microsoft history. I can say that. And if you asked me to pick I can honestly tell you a reasonable case could be made for all of them. The founding was really the dawn of software as a business. The PC really kicked off the mainstreaming of information technology. Windows 95 is really what brought computing to the masses. And Windows 8 is really what takes us into the whole new world of mobile solutions and the cloud.
I know you are focused a lot on products. I know Jon (Roskill, vice president of the worldwide partner group) is the partner advocate. But on the senior management team Steve who is the guy fighting for partners.
Kevin Turner. My guy.
Can I ask you what does it say about the channel that your top solution provider advocate in the senior management team is a 20 year Walmart guy. It seems like everything is filtered through that Walmart view of we are going to go direct (and) sell at thin margin.
Oh, Come on. Steve. Please. Please.Don’t lay that on Turner. Man. Do Not.
Let me say something. With Surface we said we are not going to leave any ground open, no seam that Apple fills that we don’t fill. Some of the things we have had to do in the cloud, we started out by saying let’s get it right ourselves and then bring our partners into it as opposed to we could have designed Surface a different way. We could have just said hey to our OEM hardware partners here just take some technology and we’ll see what you get. We could do the same thing on the cloud. We think we have got to get it right for the customer and involve the partner. We are doing that with the hardware. We are doing that with the cloud. We love our partners. They don’t have to worry about any lack of advocacy from Kevin and from me. Not at all. We are all in. We are all in as the world gets to be a world of devices and services powered by software. We are all in with the channel.