The VAR Guy is enjoying the three-day holiday weekend here in the U.S. before heading off to an Ingram Micro Cloud Summit (June 1-2, Phoenix, Ariz.). But before our resident blogger surfaces in Phoenix here are six channel partner blogs The VAR Guy didn't have time to write for the week ending May 27, 2011.

7. Bronze Medal: Cisco is celebrating the fact that it's now the number 3 provider of blade servers -- an impressive achievement considering Cisco has only been in the server market for about two years.


6. Windows 8 Times Two: Rumor has it Microsoft will demonstrate a Windows 8 Tablet at the All Things D conference this week. Also, CEO Steve Ballmer predicted Windows 8 would arrive in 2012 but Microsoft has since tried to clarify the situation.

5. Small Business Rally: Entrepreneur magazine offers some intriguing anecdotes that suggest small businesses are regaining momentum. Good to hear, especially for VARs serving SMB customers.

4. Ready to Bloom?: Keep an eye on SMB Nation Spring (June 10-11, Toronto). Have the seeds for a new CEO been planted? Answers may emerge at the conference...

3. Best Guess: The VAR Guy continues to hear that Office 365, Microsoft's forthcoming SaaS platform, is still on track to debut before or during Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July.

2. Summer of the Cloud: There are three reasons why this will be the summer of the cloud. They include Apple iCloud, Google Chromebooks for Business and Microsoft Office 365. Whether those services succeed or fail they will make cloud computing a mainstream conversation... forcing VARs to adjust appropriately.

1. Check the Headline: This remains a top-six list. Always has been. Always will be. Skipping No. 1 allows The VAR Guy to leave a few minutes early each week. Oh, that's a reminder. Time to sign off -- unless big news surfaces over the weekend. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

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