I spent some time today talking with Microsoft partners about whether the delays in Windows Vista and Office 2007 matter to them. Here’s today’s story on the subject for background.
The answer: no.
The overwhelming response I got was the delays don’t matter much at all. Perhaps not surprising, given this is a Microsoft conference for partners, who are essentially the company’s sales force. However, I imagine that with some 640,000 global partners, somebody is getting irked by this.
The comments here in Boston were well summed by Bill Breslin, board president of the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Certified Professionals.
“When you buy-in to the Microsoft relationship, you accept them with their blemishes and when they have their halos on,” Breslin said, adding that “a couple blemishes are part of any relationship.”
At Insource Technology, the 60-person Houston IT consulting company where Breslin is sales director, the delay by perhaps three months of Office 2007 is no big deal, even though they’re “heavily committed” to the product’s launch. He said Insource has customers using the Beta version, and the company is providing feedback to Microsoft on the performance of the software.
“They’re getting some great feedback and they want to make sure they get all of those issues resolved before they go to the production phase. There’s been many times that companies get hurt by hitting production when they’re not ready just to hit a date, only to let the partners and the users down on the other end,” Breslin said.
Same goes for Vista, which his company also works with.
“Both of those products are going to be bread and butter for us for the next couple of years, and it’s going to be tasty,” he said.