Over the past year, I’ve spoken with many businesses and have discussed their plans for Windows 8 and Windows 8 devices. It’s really great to see the growing interest from customers, and both large and small businesses tell us that they are planning to adopt Windows 8 devices in their companies for a variety of reasons – some are eager to make their operations more mobile with tablet form factors, some are developing modern apps to improve their customer or employee experience, others are drawn to the broad array of enterprise benefits from security to DirectAccess, to new mobile scenarios with Windows To Go, to enterprise-level management.
Whatever the reason, we continue to see growing enthusiasm for what Windows 8 can offer. This excitement, in turn, creates opportunity for our partners to build products and services for Windows 8 that can help grow their own businesses.
Worldwide Partner Conference 2013
Beginning today, I have the opportunity of speaking with our partners in Houston at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). My talk follows the opening keynote by Tami Reller, Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, who emphasized the business opportunity with Windows 8.1 as well as Microsoft’s commitment to working with our partners to deliver a broad range of devices, apps and services for customers. She also shared that there are more than 20 million enterprise evaluations of Windows 8 to date and RTM will be made available to OEMs in late August.
With the release of Windows 8.1 Preview at the Build developer conference last month, this new update gives partners even more robust tools and features to build on and sell to their customers. Windows 8.1 includes a broad range of new business enhancements in user experience, and improvements in manageability, security, mobility and networking, providing customers with the best business tablets and great PC choices across all device form factors.
Now that Windows 8.1 Preview is available, partners can take advantage of these new features when building their own solutions to deliver greater value to their customers. To encourage partners and customers to test Windows 8.1, we are offering attendees Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview during select sessions at WPC, with bits available to download through TechNet in the coming weeks.
The Partner Opportunity with Windows 8
The investment each of these partners makes by developing services offerings, new innovative apps, or hardware and integration solutions for Windows 8 is a key reason why the OS has sold more than 100 million licenses to date and has passed 100,000 apps in the Microsoft Store in the past eight months since launch. These are huge milestones and show tremendous growth potential and market opportunity for our partners in the year ahead.
Current Windows 8 Partners
Now is the time, as Windows 8 gains momentum and Windows XP end of support looms, for partners to bet on the platform. In this context we are excited about the investment HP is making in helping customers to migrate off Windows XP, to a modern Windows experience.
HP’s technology portfolio spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. Today at WPC, HP announced a tightly integrated approach with Microsoft to help customers transition from Windows XP to a modern version of Windows. Not only does the partner offer business desktops, notebooks and all-in-ones optimized for Windows 7 and Windows 8, but it also sets partners and customers up with resources, training tools and professional guides to make migrations easier. Additionally, HP and Microsoft will offer WPC attendees a special price for the ElitePad. Visit www.hp.com/goodbyeXP to learn more.
Below are additional partners that are with us at WPC, sharing their own experiences of how they have created innovative solutions with Windows 8, and have successfully marketed it and sold it to customers eager to tap into the benefits of OS.
Windows 8 was designed with the modern, mobile business world in mind; it is the foundation that business can build their operations upon from end-to-end, across a variety of devices, locations and users. We hope our partners will continue to use their creativity to build on Windows 8 and deliver great value to their customers. We’re grateful for their ongoing collaboration to bring the benefits of next generation computing to the enterprise and hope they will continue to bet on Windows 8 in the next year.
* Forrsights: IT Budgets And Priorities In 2013, Forrester Research, Inc., April 25, 2013.
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