ISVs: Microsoft Wants You!

Redmond is seeking out new ISVs to embed Microsoft infrastructure and apps into third-party products.

Microsoft is out to convince software vendors that they should join 'em, rather than try to beat 'em.

Microsoft has kicked off at the start of March a road show designed, ultimately, to get independent software vendors (ISVs) to build into their future products so they embed some or all of Microsoft's underlying software stack. Microsoft is providing attendees with a two-day strategy and product roadmap, emphasizing the Microsoft Business Solutions' small- and mid-size business products.

In April, Microsoft is planning to launch a number of new programs targeted specifically at ISVs. Among these programs is a new initiative called "Empower," which is aimed at bringing new Microsoft ISV partners into the fold.

Microsoft executives detailed some of the company's ISV program plans this week at Convergence, the Microsoft Business Solutions customer and partner conference in Orlando.

"A lot of ISVs are looking at all the Microsoft acquisitions and are worried about Microsoft buying 500 companies and totally taking away their space," acknowledged Mitch Ruud, product planning manager for Microsoft Business Framework.

The ISV road show is an attempt to alleviate these concerns, and also to engage with partners earlier to get their feedback on future Microsoft software products and plans, company officials said.

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