20 Questions With Microsoft's Ballmer

What does it say about the channel that your top partner advocate on the senior management team, COO Kevin Turner, is a 20-year Walmart guy?

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.

Get the latest channel news to your inbox every day with the VAR Insider newsletter.