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Words and musings from Microsoft executives at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference July 11-13 in Boston.

“There are 600 million Windows and Office users worldwide. … Who will be the first to show them the power of Vista and Office 2007? Our imperative is to become the first and best users of this technology. … Bring the beta format into your business. You have to be informed about Vista and Office before you can talk about how it will change the world.”

Allison Watson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, challenging partners to use Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007 in their own businesses.

“You will have choices this year that you didn’t have before. Do you work with us on security or the traditional vendor you’re used to working with, or both? Do you work with us in unified communications and VOIP or the vendor you’re used to, or both? Some of these choices are less comfortable than the other choices we give you.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, referring to new solution areas the Redmond, Wash., company is entering this year that will present competition to current industry leaders—for example, Microsoft Forefront competing with Symantec and McAfee.

“Rest assured, we will never have a gap between Windows releases as long this one. … Count on it. We will never have this kind of gap again.”

Ballmer on the nearly six years that will have passed between the release of Microsoft Windows XP in 2001 and Windows Vista, to be released in early 2007.