So I spent the day doing what I ask partners to do all the time....calling up customers and asking them to attend an event (and buy software).
I had a slight advantage perhaps in saying I am an MS employee, but other than that they were just as cold.
Most of them were small, some really small, businesses, but I found a few things.
- those who have seen Vista and Office 2007 are impressed and excited
- people are willing (and in some cases, have) installed Office, but don't trust Vista until the first service pack is released
- App/driver/device compatibility with Vista is a big concern
- the new interface (both Vista and Office) is noticeable, but not the barrier to deployment
- customers are convinced that it's more reliable and secure
The key takeaway here is an obvious one, but one that Microsoft would do well to remember...and which provides a big opportunity for partners.
Customers get the value proposition...what they want is some certainty that business operations will be minimally impacted (and that additional expenses surrounding Vista, i.e. printers/app migration, will be minimal and anticipated)