11 Microsoft Partner Conference Scenes That Show Where Channel Opportunities Lie

Live On The Scene

Microsoft held its annual Worldwide Partner Conference this week in Washington, D.C.

WPC is always a hugely important event because it comes at the start of Microsoft's fiscal year and the company typically shares key details about product strategy. This year, the event has even more weight because it was the first in which 22-year veteran Satya Nadella addressed partners as CEO.

Microsoft is also going through major change to partnerships and product strategy, signs of which were evident at WPC. CRN walked the expo hall and convention center hallways and presents here a visual rundown of the event.

No Windows? No Problem

Windows has always been at the center of Microsoft's business, but that's no longer the case, and this poster tells the whole story. This sort of signage would have been out of place at WPC even last year.

Microsoft is offering iPhone and Android smartphone users a chance to download and test apps such as Skype, Bing, Outlook and many others simply by scanning a QR code with their device.

The company also has a deal to buy partners' iPhones and Androids if they're willing to make the switch to the Windows Phone.

Channel Opportunity Knocking With Windows Server 2003

Microsoft partners with the skills to migrate customers off of Windows Server are going to have a big business opportunity once Microsoft ends support for the OS next July. HP is already mobilizing its channel to seize the opportunity, and Microsoft wants as many partners as possible helping out with the cause.

President Obama And Microsoft's India Partners Of The Year

U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Sonata Information Technology, Microsoft's country partner of the year at the India partner lounge, along with BitScape Infotech, which won honors in the small business partner segment.

Microsoft Germany Partners Celebrate World Cup Win

Microsoft's German partners could hardly contain their glee over their nation's dramatic win in the 2014 World Cup, which happened the opening day of the Worldwide Partner Conference.

Microsoft Japan

Microsoft's Japan partners brought all kinds of unique stuff to their lounge on the WPC expo floor, including a stuffed pink pig and other interesting items.

All About Japan

The Japan Microsoft partner lounge also had a banner depicting different things for which Japan is famous.

Microsoft Partners' Opportunity To Be Heroes

Many Microsoft partners helped migrate their customer off Windows XP before Microsoft's April support deadline, and the company is now asking them to do the same with Windows Server 2003, which will see support and updates end next July. Microsoft says this will give the channel another chance to upgrade customers to modern technology.

Microsoft's 'ModernBiz' Marketing Campaign

While most enterprises are using the cloud in some form, small and medium business are, for the most part, still trying to figure out how to leverage it. Microsoft wants to help, so it launched a new marketing campaign, called "ModernBiz," which is aimed at helping SMBs move to the cloud and be profitable doing so.

​Microsoft sees a $243 billion opportunity in the SMB cloud market by 2018, and the software giant will need to rally its army of channel partners to go out and grab it.

Microsoft, Dell Teaming Up For Battle

Longtime industry partners Microsoft and Dell are working together on a number of fronts, combining their formidable technical expertise to help the U.S. military take care of business around the world.

Your Future In The Cloud

Microsoft held its 2010 Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., and at the time, its cloud message was still pretty nascent. Fast-forward four years and that vision has definitely become a reality for many customers and partners.

Now Microsoft is looking to take its cloud strategy to the next level. COO Kevin Turner, in a keynote at WPC, said he wants to see 100,000 new Microsoft partners selling Azure this fiscal year. Microsoft debuted new Azure and Office 365 channel program competencies to help keep the ball rolling. If you're a Microsoft partner, your future is not only in the cloud, it's already here.

Lounging On The Microsoft Logo

Microsoft's WPC is a place where you'll need good walking shoes. All the frenzied activity on the expo hall floor can be overwhelming. These WPC attendees took a breather at the entrance to the conference hall, and they happened to be seated atop the Microsoft logo.