: Beefing Up Its Channels"> Beefing Up Its Channels In terms of marketing, Flessner said Microsoft will invest $200 million in a worldwide advertising campaign, including TV ads. The company also will pour $500 million into its channel to beef up channel partnerships.Microsoft is investing $2 billion in the server space this year alone, he said. Flessner said Microsoft is poised to compete with IBM and Linux. Microsofts products measure up well against that combination, he said. "What enterprise customers want to talk about is how these things thread together," he said. Eric Rudder, senior vice president of the developer platform and evangelism at Microsoft, plotted out the next steps for the developer division, though he stopped short of discussing the Whidbey version of the .Net Framework. Rudder said the Everett version of Visual Studio .Net will ship next when Windows .Net Server ships by the end of this year. The Yukon version of Microsoft .Net will feature improved IDE and community support and will feature a new visual design tool for XML and integration with SQL Server and embrace all the languages in the Common Language Runtime. "It will also do cool things with Office and Web services," Rudder said. The Longhorn version of Visual Studio .Net, even further down the road, will feature new user interface tools and a new storage system. In 2003, Rudder said Microsoft will continue to engage the community with .Net and make sure Web services become the preferred architecture for developers. "Here our great competitor is IBM," he said. Rudder also said Microsoft must build a vibrant and healthy developer community. "This is one of the lessons Linux has taught us," he said Last year, Rudder said, 85 percent of Microsofts tools were sold as part of a suite. And MSDN, the Microsoft Developer Network, grew by 36 percent in terms of membership, he said. "Were winning customers through the .Net advantage," Rudder said. "We create the strongest foundation for business agility. Our solution is comprehensive open services, servers and tools." Related stories:
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"Fifty percent of our revenues in servers went through the channel last year," Flessner said.