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Microsoft will out run, out compete and out out rivals - COO

To focus on 'art of selling'

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Microsoft's chief operating officer has preached the virtues of corporate-wide score cards as a tool to maintain customer satisfaction levels and thrash the competition.

Kevin Turner told financial analysts it's "no longer enough" for Microsoft to just hit the numbers and added it must focus on "the little things" to keep partners and customers happy.

In one of his few public speaking engagements since joining Microsoft 11 months ago, Turner - who served for 20 years with retail giant Wal-Mart - evangelized his agenda and outlined his priorities for driving success, during Microsoft's annual analyst's summit held today in Redmond.

According to Turner, Microsoft is "zeroing in on the art of selling." "You haven't heard that before at a Microsoft annual meeting. We are becoming experts at the art of selling," Turner said.

"Our goal is to have the best partner and customer satisfaction level for every market. Four to five years ago, that was hard to get our hands around. That's the next flag - that someone isn't going to out hustle us in relation to customer satisfaction."

Microsoft will focus on operational excellence - reducing the size of licensing agreements from 92 pages to 26 in the next year - and on making fewer discounts. It will also aim to get a return on marketing investments by aligning them across product groups.

Touching on a broad gamut of competitors and markets, Turner summed up: "We must out run, out think and out execute our competition every day. We are going to compete to win in the Linux and the open source area. It's about winning in enterprise search, taking Windows Vista on the top, SharePoint Portal, making sure there are live services, to make sure we get the market share on enterprise search... acquire Notes customers and compete with Oracle and IBM on SQL. It's about getting aggressive. Making sure we compete respectfully but compete and compete hard each day."

Grr.®

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