Microsoft has added security to its list of top strategic priorities in the wake of the NSA scandal as it looks to reassure customers their data is safe.
Over the last few years, the software giant has placed cloud, mobile, big data and social at the top of its to-do list, but at its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington it said security has now joined the priority lineup too.
Microsoft's chief operating officer Kevin Turner (pictured) said security has become a huge issue since the US body was accused of snooping on the customer data of top tech firms.
"Let me talk about security - this is something you haven't ever heard about [from us] before from a go-to-market perspective," he told the 16,000-strong WPC crowd. "When you think about the cybersecurity issue, there hasn't been a year like this last year. It is a CEO-level issue. There's a huge opportunity."
He insisted Microsoft has been committed to its Trustworthy Computing unit for the last 12 years but said new initiatives such as rights management and multi-factor authentication have been important in reassuring customers - something which can be lucrative for partners.
"[We are] focused on helping customers be secure - there's an upsell and cross-sell opportunity for both of us," Turner said.
As well as security, Turner said Microsoft is strongly focused on growing its devices unit.
"We're going to drive Windows Phone momentum - we're the number-two smartphone now in 14 markets," he said. "A year ago the number was half that. We're going to keep growing."
During the entire Vision keynote address - which lasted more than three hours - Microsoft's Surface device was mentioned just a handful of times.
Turner said the latest iteration was the best 2-in-1 device on the market but gave no indication of if or when the wider channel would ever get to sell it.
Currently just a handful of large resellers in selected markets are authorised to flog it - much to the disappointment of some other channel partners.
Another product the vendor seemed less interested in talking up was Windows 8. The operating system has divided users since its 2012 launch and Turner said - when briefly mentioning the OS - that the firm was keen to improve on it.
"We're already working on the next release of Windows," he said. "We are really listening and taking feedback from customers - enterprises and consumers - and Microsoft partners. This will be a great, world-class enterprise OS when it comes out. We will have some game-changing functionality in there for enterprises.
"We're committed to Windows and we're committed to improving it and we're going to continue to work very hard on our progress there."
Turner added that he foresees strong Windows momentum this Christmas when a flurry of cheaper devices which run the OS are set to hit the shelves. HP's Stream device will be priced at $199 (£116), he said, with other Windows tablets going on sale for less than $100.
During his partner address, Turner thanked partners profusely for their support.
"I want to thank you for your partnership and for your hard work," he said.
"Ladies and gentleman we have had a really, really, really good year. In fact, I'm extremely proud of the work that's gone into this year.
"It's not all been easy - there's been some tough times for all of us. It wouldn't be possible without the tremendous partnership and hard work from our 600,000 partners around the world in 191 countries. You make this possible. We're on the same side as you are."
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