Microsoft's ecosystem is worth more than $500bn and climbing, according to a recent study.
Research firm IDC said in a Microsoft-sponsored report that the company and its partners generated revenues of roughly $580bn throughout the globe in 2010.
The figure is up from $539bn in 2009 and accounts for 95 per cent of Microsoft's revenues.
The IDC report (PDF) suggested that, in many cases, partners are able to thrive when Microsoft performs well. For every $1 in revenue generated by Microsoft, its partners generate $8.70.
"Microsoft and its partners make a significant impact on the global economy," said Darren Bibby, IDC software channels and alliances research vice president and co-author of the report.
"Microsoft does an excellent job of providing great products for partners to work with, as well as effective sales, marketing and training resources."
The report predicts that, in the coming years, Microsoft's ecosystem will see large growth from the cloud computing field.
IDC believes that spending on cloud computing platforms will rise to $800bn over the next four years and that Microsoft's partners will be able to offer a combination of on-premise and cloud products.
Robert Helm, Directions on Microsoft managing vice president of research, said that much of that growth could come in the small business space. The analyst told V3.co.uk that partner firms could be particularly well rewarded by offering service and support to smaller firms.
"The appearance of the cloud is going to open up new areas of IT to smaller companies," said Helm.
"They will be candidates because the cloud lowers a lot of the hardware and management costs."
Additionally, Helm sees opportunities arising in the on-premise space as enterprises increasingly look to adopt virtualisation.
He suggested that hardware vendors that can offer bundled systems, such as pre-integrated datacentre hardware, will find success in the market.
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