Ballmer Pledges Support for Innovation, Security

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer kicked off the third and final day of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2004 — the company’s main event for business partners — with a message of increased company investments to fuel innovation in the industry.

“For businesses dedicated to innovating with technology and related services that solve real-world customer problems and enable new scenarios, Microsoft is absolutely the best partner in the industry,” Ballmer said.

“We’ve talked about the tremendous value made possible with advances in Microsoft’s integrated platform and important new programs, tools, services and initiatives designed to help our partners take advantage of new business opportunities.”

Strength of Innovation

Ballmer stressed the strength of Microsoft’s “innovation pipeline” and outlined areas where the company sees great growth potential in the industry and benefits for the company’s partner ecosystem.

These include PC market growth, new information-worker scenarios, the enhanced position of Windows Server 2003, reduction of complexity and cost for IT professionals and developers, and the increasing importance of communications.

“We strive every day to deliver the best customer and partner experience in the industry,” Ballmer said. “As we’ve seen throughout this conference, Microsoft is underscoring its commitment to partners with an unprecedented level of investments, resources and technical innovations.”

Renewed Commitment to Security

Also during today’s keynote addresses, Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s security unit, provided an update on the commitment Microsoft has made to helping improve the security of computers and networks, and reinforced the company’s focus on keeping security a top priority in the year ahead.

Nash outlined steps Microsoft has taken toward increased security. He also announced the general availability of Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server) 2004 and outlined Microsoft’s strategy for Network Access Protection technologies.

Further details on the progress and commitments that were highlighted include advancements in providing greater isolation and resiliency to systems, including the forthcoming availability of Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (slated for August).

Nash also thanked partners for their efforts to help customers achieve a more secure infrastructure and encouraged them to participate in Microsoft’s Security Solutions Competency Program.

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