The lightning flashed across the western plains sky with boom rolling into Denver . But rain never game. It was all flash, no substance. Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver this week has been a lot like the storms—all flash. Oh, there are thousands of people here. But this is a show that has never gained focus.

The major indicator of trouble is the exhibit hall. “Did you see how small the exhibit space is?” asked someone from giant reseller Tectura.

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