The VAR Guy is turning one eye to the weekend while wrapping up blogging for this week. But before our resident blogger escapes for a little R&R, here are the nine most read technology news stories and channel partner blogs for the week ending March 16, 2012.

9. The Path to Recurring Revenues: A simple example from Axcient CEO Justin Moore shows how an MSP could generate more than $700,000 in recurring annual revenues. But this isn't an overnight rags-to-riches story. Instead, the strategy involves a simple though carefully executed five-year plan. Here it is.

8. Microsoft Cloud Price Cuts: Certain Office 365 and Windows Azure cloud services experienced a Microsoft price cut. And readers took notice.

7. The $750 Million Bet: The VAR Guy believes Cisco, EMC and VMware has invested (or spent) about $750 million to build and support VCE (Virtual Computing Environment), a company focused on Vblock and the convergence of compute, network, storage and virtualization. Was the bet worth it? The VAR Guy's answer attracted readers.

6. Microsoft Smart Phone Strategy: David Courbanou, contributing blogger on The VAR Guy, analyzes Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 strategy -- and the potential upside.

5. Apple iPad Goes Corporate: MSPmentor Contributing Lead Blogger Jessica Davis explains how a new Apple offering, called the Apple Configurator, could make the iPad more appealing to corporate IT managers.

4. Is Linux About to Take off on Tablets?: Christopher Tozzi asked the question and readers came running into the room to join the dialog.

3. Dell Buys SonicWall: The headline made some VARs and MSPs fearful about SonicWall's long-term channel partner program. But MSPmentor called for calm, noting Dell's progress with other channel-centric acquisitions (EqualLogic and Compellent, to name two). Still, reader angst continues to surface in the comment area.

2. HP Cloud: As chatter about the forthcoming HP Cloud effort grew louder, we wondered if HP could somehow carve a niche between Amazon Web Services (now-cost public cloud) and higher-margin cloud strategies over at IBM and Oracle. Here's what we reported.

1. HP Cloud Bets on Open Source: In part II of our HP Cloud news update, Talkin' Cloud described how HP's forthcoming public and private cloud efforts will leverage OpenStack.

That's all for now. Time for The VAR Guy to return to his weekend hideout. But our resident blogger will resurface if any big news breaks...