Day Three speakers included a couple of heavy-hitters: Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft and Sir Richard Branson, Founder and President of Virgin Group.

Kevin Turner

  • Azure is doubling the number of users and apps every quarter.
  • Kinect is the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history, beating out both the iPhone and iPad.
  • Kevin said 2012 is "The year of private clouds." (Kevin is referring to Microsoft's Fiscal Year 2012, which runs July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012).
  • Microsoft spends $9 Billion on research and development annually, 50% more than the closest competitor IBM at $6 billion.
  • Windows XP, Office 2003, and IE6 are the highest ROI IT software products ever, having lasted 10+ years. Kevin called them dead, with mainstream support already ended and extended support ending in 2014.
  • In a recent survey, Microsoft was ranked as the #1 Most Strategic IT Vendor. Dell and HP were #2 and #3 (the order may not be correct).

It's interesting that Microsoft is really pushing to replace IE6 (released in 2001) with IE9 – great news for web developers everywhere!

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Branson participated in a Q&A led by Jon Roskill featuring questions submitted by partners. Here are a few notable quotes.

  • "All businesses must be a force for good."
  • "Business aspects are there to make sure the ability to make a difference survives."
  • "Anything that damages your brand can destroy your company."