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IN PICTURES: Microsoft World Partner Conference kicks off

It's like a giant roadshow; more than 16,000 people attending; an expo so big you need to be fit to get round it; and then there's the characters - and there are plenty of them. Welcome to Microsoft World Partner Conference 2010 in Washington, D.C.

  • Let's start with the man: Microsoft (MS) CEO, Steve Ballmer ... he's always good for a photo

  • MS CEO, Steve Ballmer

  • MS CEO, Steve Ballmer

  • Not sure what the hi-five is about but we're hoping it wasn't a Spanish rap song

  • This probably was a rap song

  • MS president of the Server and Tools Business (STB), Bob Muglia

  • MS president of the Server and Tools Business (STB), Bob Muglia

  • MS president of the Server and Tools Business (STB), Bob Muglia

  • MS president of the Server and Tools Business (STB), Bob Muglia

  • Flying the flag - the audience

  • MS senior vice-president, Chris Capossela

  • MS senior vice-president, Chris Capossela

  • Corporate vice-president of Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS), Kirill Tatarinov

  • Corporate vice-president of Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS), Kirill Tatarinov

  • Let the show begin

  • President of the Microsoft Business Division, Stephen Elop

  • President of the Microsoft Business Division, Stephen Elop

  • Senior vice-president of Microsoft's Mobile Communication Business, Andy Lees

  • Senior vice-president of Microsoft's Mobile Communication Business, Andy Lees

  • MS corporate vice-president and Chief Financial Officer, Tami Reller

  • Corporate vice-president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, Jon Roskill, gets in amongst the crowd

  • Corporate vice-president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, Jon Roskill, gets in amongst the crowd

  • General manager, Windows commercial product marketing, Rich Reynolds

  • Corporate vice-president of the Server and Tools Marketing Group, Robert Wahbe

  • Corporate vice-president of the Server and Tools Marketing Group, Robert Wahbe

  • Corporate vice-president, business and marketing group for North America, Allison Watson

  • Corporate vice-president, business and marketing group for North America, Allison Watson

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