CRN | Breaking News | Ballmer Slams IBM, Novell Partner Efforts With Linux, SMBs "At Microsoft's annual partner conference in Toronto, the rambunctious CEO told thousands of its global partners that commercial software, in combination with Microsoft's channel model and go-to-market plan, offers the best value proposition for service partners, solution providers and ISVs.
"Who do you go-to-market with [concerning] Linux?" Ballmer asked the capacity crowd. "Go-to-market with IBM? You'll be competing against IBM services. How does IBM sustain its investment in Linux when the only money they make is on services? They make no money on software; they make no money on hardware. They make money only in services."
This is the year of opportunity. Let's go after the Novell installed base and help them come into the modern world," Ballmer said, urging Microsoft partners to poach Novell NetWare customers and IBM Lotus Notes customers. "And I don't know what the heck IBM is doing with these [Notes customers]. I've seen more Notes-to-Exchange conversions in the last year than ever before. These two bases are ripe for winning."