Moving on from Vista
Microsoft crammed 1,500 of its UK partners into an auditorium inside Wembley stadium today with the general aim of making them feel loved.
The event was Microsoft Partner Network 2009 and was the UK version of the Worldwide Partner Conference, held in New Orleans last July. The dominant theme was the global recession and how to effectively do business (i.e. sell Microsoft products) during it.
The morning was a PowerPoint fest hosted by George Alagiah off the telly, during which he introduced a procession of Microsoft execs, and one journalist, essentially to emphasise how important Microsoft thinks its partners are, and how they can together make a few quid in spite of the economic climate.
The first speaker was Scott Dodds, UK GM of SMEs and the partner group. He started a trend that we heard throughout the day from Microsoft, which concerned getting through the "blip" that was Vista. As the general goodwill towards Windows 7 has become more concrete, Microsoft has been more uninhibited about looking back at the Vista era with what amounts to disdain.
Dodds also set the official tone of the event by saying: "We've had a massive re-affirmation of the importance of our partner community."