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From Microsoft Watch: It’s time again for Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference. This year, it’s Minneapolis that will do the hosting honors. The Microsoft brass are slated to explain to the more than 6,000 partners in attendance Microsoft’s evolving vertical sales push, as well as its new small-business- and mid-market-focused partner programs for fiscal 2006. Attendees are likely to hear a bit more on Longhorn, Office 12, Exchange 12, Windows Server 2003 R2 and Microsoft CRM, to boot. So, we’re off to the Mall of America (after sessions are over, of course).