Post by Peter Han, Vice President, Microsoft U.S. OEM Division.

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When a highly anticipated event finally happens, a period of calm can occur as the dust settles. It’s a testament to our incredible partners that quite the opposite happens on the heels of our annual Worldwide Partner Conference. In fact, the preparation and energy leading up to our most important partner event of the year is matched only by the momentum and optimism following it.

And that momentum has a lot of power behind it—16,000 of you joined us in Toronto, another 20,000 joined online and many others in the Microsoft Partner Network stayed up-to-date on WPC content and events through our social and online channels. The momentum heading into the new Microsoft fiscal year, which runs July through June, is fueled not only by the vision shared by Microsoft leadership at the Conference, but especially by those of you with whom I met.

But I don’t want you to lose ground waiting for the Windows 8 public launch in October, when you can leverage active opportunities with Windows 7 today. Now is a critical time to counsel customers currently on Windows XP and Windows Vista to migrate to Windows 7 devices so that they are primed to ultimately upgrade to Windows 8. I spoke with many of you at WPC about the “right now” Windows 7 opportunity, and these dynamic discussions are one of my personal Conference highlights. More on that opportunity, and another exciting WPC momentum-builder, below.

  • imageWindows 7. More than 40 percent of PC users are still on the Windows XP operating system and this is your key to maintaining a steady revenue stream these next few months. As an incentive, we’ve introduced the Windows 7 Value Pack for customers who purchase a new PC with genuine Windows 7 preinstalled. This package of free Microsoft products is designed to streamline the process of multiple product downloads, and includes Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Live Essentials, Internet Explorer 9, Skype, Bing Bar, and all Language Interface Packs (LIPs) for Windows 7. Use the resources on the Microsoft OEM website to trigger your growth over the next few months.
  • Device Test Drive. I loved talking with you about your plans to deliver sleek form factors that will seamlessly interface with Window 8’s mobile and productivity features. Airing on MPN Live throughout WPC, the Device Test Drive video series demonstrated partners’ reactions to the newest ultrabooks. Check out the fun reactions of test drivers Blue Granite, Heartland Technology, Metafile, Respondesign, Coretek, BizWizards and RoseBud Technologies and take note: their comments on device speed, portability, and flexibility can be used to your own device design advantage.

I urge you to actively seek near-term wins. How do you plan to keep the post-WPC momentum going strong for your business? Follow me on Twitter at @PeterKHan and let me know!