Microsoft Plans Launch Blitz For Vista, Office 2007 - InformationWeek
01:22 PM
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

Microsoft Plans Launch Blitz For Vista, Office 2007

The first U.S. launch event is scheduled to be held in New York on Jan. 16. The last one will be held on Microsoft's turf, in Seattle, on Feb. 26.

After the global launch of Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 in New York on Nov. 30, Microsoft will host a series of key launch events for partners and customers in 15 U.S. cities beginning in mid-January.

The events are aimed at preparing small-business customers and solution providers for the shipment of Microsoft's latest products, which are due for general release at the end of January.

The first U.S. launch event is scheduled to be held in New York on Jan. 16. The last one will be held on Microsoft's turf, in Seattle, on Feb. 26, according to channel sources.

Key launch events will be held in seven cities in January, including Phoenix (Jan. 17); Tampa, Fla. (Jan. 18); Boston (Jan. 24); Los Angeles (Jan. 26); Washington, D.C. (Jan. 30) and San Francisco (Jan. 30), according to documents viewed by CRN.

The remaining eight events will be held in February. They include launches in Minneapolis (Feb. 1); Chicago (Feb. 7); Atlanta (Feb. 8); Houston (Feb. 13); Detroit (Feb. 13); Philadelphia (Feb. 15); Dallas (Feb. 21) and Seattle (Feb 26).

The Redmond, Wash., software company also will host Microsoft Across America launch events in 59 other U.S. cities in the same time frame, with the exception of events in Honolulu and Rockville, Md., on March 1.

Solution providers and system builders say Microsoft is offering sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities at the Ready For A New Day events. A Platinum sponsorship for all 15 cities costs $125,000, while the cost to sponsor key events in each city costs $5,000 or $7,000, depending on the location.

The cost to exhibit in the 15 key cities is either $2,000 or $3,000 depending on location. The cost to exhibit at the Microsoft Across America events ranges from $1,000 to $800.

Last month, Microsoft began hosting a 23-city tour with Intel called Ready 2 Rock, which is designed to educate partners about the benefits of running Vista and Office 2007 on Intel Core 2 Duo processors. The events run until Dec. 14, and the cost to participate is about $20 for those who preregister and $30 for on-site registrations.

One channel source scoffed at being charged for attendance. "It's a small amount, and they say they're trying to weed out those who are serious about business. But it's a little funny," said the source, who declined to be named.

Although Microsoft keeps beating the drum to the launch date, most VARs don't expect the Vista and Office 2007 business to start building in the channel until the second half of 2007. Still, there's no doubt that the products will present channel opportunities out of the gate, they said.

"In terms of service opportunities with Vista, there is certainly the deployment opportunity," said Michael Cocanower, president of IT Synergy, Phoenix. "However, SMBs traditionally deploy a new operating system with new hardware, so that won't happen all at once."

Yet a Minneapolis system builder said he expects the Microsoft products to drive new business at the get-go.

"It provides a shot in the arm for system builders for sales now. There are those that absolutely do not want Vista until an upgrade like a Service Pack 2 is shipped," said Joe Toste, vice president of marketing at Equus Computer Systems, Minneapolis. "I am pushing my Vista-capable SKUs that have better graphics, more CPU, more storage and high ASPs. This market needs a shot in the arm. The market is tied to Microsoft, whether it likes it or not."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll