Microsoft leaders used the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 (WPC) to discuss how partners can benefit from the transition to cloud computing by helping customers improve agility, focus on business goals and reduce costs.

"Cloud computing is as big a transformation as we have ever seen and, together with our partners, Microsoft will help customers through the shift," says Satya Nadella, president of the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft. "By betting on Microsoft's comprehensive approach to cloud computing, partners can embrace this transformation and build strong and vibrant practices that will advance how business gets done."
Acknowledging the continued need for on-premises deployments, Nadella outlined how partners can use Microsoft's private cloud solution built on Windows Server, Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center to help customers transition to cloud, on their terms.
Next week Microsoft will release a new beta of System Center 2012, which helps customers build private clouds and manage applications across both private and public cloud systems. Microsoft also provided an early look at the next version of Windows Server, code-named "Windows Server 8," which will be the next step in private cloud computing.
Noting the ever-increasing importance of data in both public and private cloud computing, Nadella announced the availability of a community technology preview of the new Microsoft SQL Server, currently SQL Server codename "Denali." For the first time, customers can begin testing the much-anticipated features of "Denali," including Project "Crescent" for visual data exploration and SQL Server Developer Tools codename "Juneau," for a modern development experience across server, business intelligence and cloud development projects.