So here are a few tidbits from my notebooks that didn't make it into our stories from Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver.
In addition to talking about some potential new business models for Office, corporate VP Chris Capossela also noted that Microsoft is planning a fall launch for its Office Communications Server business telephony product as well as its PerformancePoint business intelligence software.
The company still hopes to finish the code for both products by late summer, he said. Speaking of launch dates, as spotted by Mary Jo Foley, the next version of SQL Server won't be ready for the February launch in Los Angeles. Instead, Microsoft aims to finalize the code for the database software sometime in the second quarter of next year.
Capossela also noted that computer makers have taken to a new program that debuted with Office 2007 that lets them get a cut of the software revenue when users activate the trial copy of Office that comes with a retail PC.
"All of the major indirect (original equipment manufacturers) have signed on," Capossela said. Under pre-existing programs, direct sellers like Dell sell the copy of Office when people order their custom PC. The new program is designed to let large computer makers and small system builders have an easier way to sell Office. In the past, Microsoft did have an option where computer makers could include a trial version of Office on CD, but Capossela said Microsoft is optimistic the new program will translate to higher sales rates.
On the antipiracy side of the house, Microsoft said it has seen multiple additional cracks of Windows Vista's activation systems since the widely reported Frankenbuild method. The company plans to address the issue in the coming weeks and months, but none of the exploits is particularly widespread and all are addressable through technological means, Microsoft said.