Larger-than-life Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer kicked off his keynote at the vendor’s annual global partner shindig by thanking every partner in the room.
Standing in the middle of the basketball stadium at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto in front of more than 16,000 partners, Ballmer (pictured) described 2012 as “the most important year” in Microsoft’s history, and said Microsoft is reinventing itself for the modern era.
“It has been a phenomenal year for Microsoft and our partner ecosystem is vibrant. More than $690bn was generated by Microsoft partners around the world and that grew 13 per cent on last year,” he said. “We are growing the number of partners selling Microsoft cloud services 10 per cent per month and adding 1,000 new cloud partners every month. It is the most epic year in Microsoft history. There is going to be something for every one of our partners.”
Ballmer also spoke about the vendor’s recent acquisition of corporate social networking site Yammer, and its latest addition of multi-touch specialist Perceptive Pixel for an undisclosed sum which was announced today.
After giving the audience a demo of the firm’s 82in touchscreen, Ballmer said the vendor’s next challenge will be to make the devices more affordable. But he ended with another partner love-in.
“To everybody in this room – thank you,” he said. “All the business that we derive, we do it in conjunction with our partner community. You bring our services to life with customers.
“This will be the best year ever to be a Microsoft partner and there is unparalleled opportunity,” he said. “We will be the leaders in helping our joint customers figure out how to navigate these waters. We have the tools to go up against everybody from the datacentre to the desktop and we can only succeed together.”
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