It was a sharp contrast to Steve Ballmer's presentation when Microsoft COO Kevin Turner took the stage today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. For every implied competitive situation in Ballmer's presentation, KT took direct aim at a competitor, and was not shy about naming names. It will be interesting to see the press coverage, because he was handing out some juicy quotes. Try these:
"We (Microsoft) are the undisputed leader in commercial cloud services."
"Sharepoint online is the fastest growing product in the history of Microsoft."
"The smartphone game is just starting."
"The Go Do is don't let our customers get Googled."
"We don't want some of the customers, we want all of them."
"In a market where we were left for dead." (about search)
"Don't let Customers pay the Apple Tax".
"It looks like iPhone 4 may be their Vista."
He didn't stop there. Without hesitation he rolled into direct assaults on Linux, VMware, and Oracle. After Turner's show, Microsoft's 640,000 strong partner army know one thing: General Turner is itching for a fight and he is willing to engage on not just more than one front, but all of them. Forget Sun Tzu and wasting time trying to figure out whose enemy's enemy is the friendliest. Let's get busy shooting.
As crazy as it seems for a strategy, it could just be the right recipe for Microsoft. Microsoft's partner army is so large, so deep, and so well developed -- this kind of thing just could work. Given the press over the past few months and the morale in Redmond, Kevin Turner's energy did seem to be quite welcome. The Ballmer / Turner 1-2 could be a knock out.