Microsoft COO Lashes Out At Linux, Google

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"We're not going to let Google win in the enterprise space. That's our house, our market space," said the 40-year-old Turner, the former Wal-Mart CIO whose tough talk elicited cheers from hundreds of Microsoft partners gathered for the closing keynote at Microsoft's partner conference Thursday in Boston.

"Then we've got Novell, Linux, Red Hat and other competitors. We're going after IBM and Google," Turner said. "We're going to win because we have a better solution, better total cost of ownership. We're going to get at the competition."

Appointed head of Microsoft's worldwide sales, marketing and services organization last August, Turner leads an organization with more than 32,000 employees that generated $40 billion in revenue during fiscal 2005.

On stage at the partner conference, the boisterous, passionate COO told partners he was steered to the information technology business by his then mentor, Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, during the 1980s. Turner started his career at Wal-Mart Stores as a cashier and by the end of his 20-year tenure at the retailer was running its $37 billion subsidiary Sam's Club as CEO.

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The software market will continue to grow and Microsoft's share of the overall pie -- and that of its service partners -- will continue to grow, he predicted.

"This is a very revenue focused company and our revenue focus is elevated," said Turner, who was recruited to Microsoft by longtime friend and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and founder Bill Gates.

To distinguish its offerings from competitors, for instance, Microsoft will emphasize the "premier" versions of its forthcoming Windows Vista and Office 2007 upgrades and push customers to adopt the new premier client-access license, Enterprise CAL, which offers access to many more server applications than the standard Core CAL.

And it will simplify licensing and strengthen its commitment to partners, Turner said.

Turner said he has been well versed on Microsoft's partnering philosophy and he is fully on board.

To that end, Microsoft has developed a comprehensive joint execution strategy with partners and will work hard to make its partners more profitable and motivated as it enters new markets and faces competiton on it own turf.

"We know you have choices," Turner told partners. "But this is a company that if we don't get it right the first time, we'll keep coming, and coming and coming and not stop until we get it right."

On Thursday, Microsoft executives projected that the SMB services market will reach $162 billion in its fiscal 2007.

Additionally, Microsoft cited Gartner estimates that the enterprise services market will grow to $340 billion by 2009, up from $295 billion in 2006. Microsoft said only 1.5 percent of that total figure will be driven by Microsoft Services directly.