Microsoft Helps Worldwide Channel of Business Partners Compete to Win

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MINNEAPOLIS — July 10, 2005 — Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2005, Microsoft Corp. announced that it will extend to partners direct access to the same sales tools and competitive data that Microsoft provides to its own direct sales force. Through integrated, innovative solutions, enhanced partner resources, and unprecedented access to internal information and training, Microsoft is teaming with partners to help them differentiate themselves from and win against the competition. Building on the Get the Facts campaign, a program that provides partners with the comprehensive data they need to help customers make value-based IT decisions, Microsoft described how feedback from partners is helping to shape investments in tools and resources that address customers’ questions and help partners respond to the challenges posed by Linux and open source offerings such as those from Red Hat, Novell and IBM Corp.

“Our partners are on the front lines with customers, answering the tough questions, showing how Microsoft solutions stack up against the competition, and demonstrating how their solutions combined with the Microsoft platform deliver better business value,” said Martin Taylor, general manager of the Platform Strategy Group at Microsoft. “Customers now see Linux like any other commercial software offering and are asking questions about its value for money and the risk associated with making long-term technology investments. To that end, we have teamed with partners to provide an increased level of support and access to resources so that they can compete to win.”

Competing With Confidence

Microsoft announced the global rollout of the Competitive Sales Assistance (CSA) program for partners. An extension of the existing Telephone-Based Presales Technical Support (TPTS) program, CSA provides partners with access to competitive sales data and marketing materials, competitive IT comparisons, and the ability to work directly with Microsoft in competitive sales situations.

RDA Corp., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, recently helped its customer Independence Air Inc. make the switch from Red Hat Linux to Windows, reducing recurring costs by over 70 percent. “We took a factual approach to supporting our recommendation to use Windows,” said Don Awalt, CEO of RDA. “Not only were we able to back up our position, but we were able to deliver the solution on Windows cost about 50 percent of what the airline paid to deploy the Linux solution in the first place.”

Feedback from customers and partners indicates that the two central pain points today are cost and security. Through Get the Facts and the CSA program, Microsoft is focused on providing partners with data in these core areas to demonstrate how it is uniquely suited to deliver the best business value.

Better total cost of ownership (TCO). In a June 2005 survey of more than 200 enterprise IT administrators, META Group Inc. found that the ongoing costs of management and support for Linux offset any upfront acquisition cost advantages it had over Windows Server™. More information on the survey can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/analyses/metawinsrv.mspx.

Increased security. Microsoft commissioned Security Innovation Inc. to conduct an independent study that would compare vulnerabilities for Windows Server 2003 database server with Oracle 10g on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and MySQL on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The June 2005 report found that Oracle 10g on Linux has three times as many vulnerabilities as SQL Server™ 2000 on Windows Server 2003. More information on the survey can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/analyses/sirolecomparison.mspx.

Greater reliability. Microsoft commissioned VeriTest to conduct an independent study that would compare the reliability and manageability of Windows Server 2003 to that of RHEL 3.0. The April 2005 study found that Windows Server prevented four times as many events that would have resulted in end-user service loss. More information on the survey can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/analyses/veritest_reliability.mspx.

Intellectual property protection. A June 2005 research report by Yankee Group Research Inc. found that indemnification provided by Linux vendors is limited or lacking altogether. According to the report, the necessity of having to purchase outside indemnification for Linux could negate the perceived savings of the so-called “free” Linux licenses over Microsoft Windows. More information about the report can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/facts/indemnification/indemwp.mspx.

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