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DENVER—The big-picture message Microsoft executives will try to convey at its annual Worldwide Partner Conference that kicks off here July 10 is that software plus services is the future.

Underscoring this message is the fact that CEO Steve Ballmer will use his keynote to announce a partnering framework for Microsoft around software plus services.

Speaker after speaker will stress that with its own software development and hosting capabilities and its extensive partner ecosystem, the Redmond, Wash., software maker is well-positioned to bring both software and services to partners and customers.

“We’ll have on-premises offerings, offerings hosted by Microsoft, and a set of offerings hosted by partners, which enables the power of choice for customers,” Allison Watson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide partner group, told eWEEK in an interview ahead of the conference.

“So, while the benefit of software plus services is an industry phenomenon, Microsoft’s value-add is that we are the only player out there that has the choice across the whole people-ready business,” she said.

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