Microsoft partners meeting in Houston responded with resignation and some optimism Tuesday to the company's move toward more Internet-based software and services, despite worries that it could cut into some of their business.
The company unveiled details of the plan during the annual meeting of thousands of partners that form the crucial link between Microsoft and its customers. About 7,500 partners and 2,500 Microsoft employees are attending the Worldwide Partner Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
The partners' chief concern is that the company's new software-plus-services move will freeze them out because Microsoft will take on services that the partners have been providing.
In announcing details of the program, Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's business division, acknowledged that anxiety, and tried to ease the partners' concerns.
"We each only succeed if the other succeeds," he said. "This really is a transformation. This is hard. But we're going to have to charge through this because it is what our customers are asking for."