Microsoft SARS fears move show

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Microsoft has moved an annual partner conference scheduled for 9-12 October from Toronto to New Orleans due to continued SARS fears.

A company spokeswoman in the US said Monday that “partner concern about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)” in Toronto--one of the highest-risk cities for the disease--had led to the transfer of the merged Fusion/Stampede channel shindig now known as the Microsoft Partner Momentum Event.

Although around the world fears about SARS have begun to dissipate, Toronto authorities reported two more SARS deaths on Monday, bringing the death toll there to 33. The Canadian city has 70 reported active cases of SARS, reports said.

The Microsoft Partner Momentum show is the first combined Fusion/Stampede event for both Microsoft Business Solutions and Microsoft Business Partner channel programs. Stampede specialised in Great Plains accounting and business software offerings for SMBs, while Fusion was the annual show for traditional Microsoft Business Partners, VARs and system integrators of Windows, Office, server operating systems and database software.

The merged conference, expected to draw 5500 attendees, will be hosted again in Toronto in 2004, Microsoft said.

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