Geeks With Blogs
IT Pros ROCK! Be an Early Expert on Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V Server System Center 2012, Azure and Windows 8.

16,000 Microsoft Partners are attending our annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) this week in Toronto, and the atmosphere is absolutely buzzing with positive energy and excitement around many of the announcements this week!

If you missed WPC this year, below is a recap of this week's significant announcements at WPC:

  • Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August and reach general availability (GA) by the end of October.
    • Click here for more details
  • Several really cool Windows 8 devices were demonstrated to partners this week with jaw-dropping responses!  Some of the devices I was most impressed with include:
  • Windows 8 will be available for early adopters as part of two "special offers"
    • Buy a Windows 7 PC Today and Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99!  Details here.
    • Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99! Details here.
  • Acquisitions were announced and discussed
    • Our intent to acquire Perceptive Pixel was announced - manufacturer of the worlds largest multi-touch displays (82") - this has the potential to revolutionize the way meetings and training is conducted!
      • Click here to learn more about Perceptive Pixel
    • Our recent acquisition of Yammer was discussed, which when combined and integrated with SharePoint, Lync and Skype was the potential bring enterprise-grade private social computing to businesses
      • Click here to learn more about Yammer
  • Windows Server 2012 will be released to manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August and reach general availability (GA) in September.
    • Click here for more details
  • The public beta of Windows Server 2012 Essentials is immediately available for download. 
    • Offering easy installation, management and integration with Office 365 for email and collaboration services, this release of Windows Server is intended to be the 2012 replacement for the existing Windows Small Business Server product line.
    • Click here for more details
  • Windows Azure Web Sites, Virtual Machines and Virtual Networking were introduced to Microsoft partners as part of the new Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings.
    • Click here for more details
  • Windows Azure Services for Windows Server were also introduced as a set of preview technologies for Hosting partners wishing to provide their own hosted Web Sites and Virtual Machine offerings.
    • Click here for more details
  • Office 365 Open was announced for introduction in Microsoft Fiscal Year 2013 as a new way of licensing Office 365 via the extensive Microsoft Partner ecosystem.  Using Office 365 Open, partners will be able to sell Office 365 licenses directly to customer organizations.
    • Specific details will be announced later this fiscal year, but a copy of the announcement is available here.
  • The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) program will be undergoing a number of changes to streamline Partner Competencies and make it easier for partners to achieve and maintain competency status
    • ISV, Software Development and Web Development competencies – will merge into single “Application Development” competency
    • Portals and Collaboration, Content Management and Search competencies – will merge into single “Collaboration and Content” competency
    • Desktop competency – will evolve to focus on Devices + Deployment, particularly in light of the wider range of device offerings on which Windows 8 will be made available
    • Digital Marketing competency – will evolve to include Bing advertising tools & assets
    • Bing advertising credits will be offered to all partners in:
      • Small Business competency
      • Application Development competency
      • Partners who subscribe to the Microsoft Acton Pack - Development & Design
    • Click here for details on this announcement
  • The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Small Business Competency, announced in June, was reviewed with partners - this competency has a new focus on Office 365, combined with Windows and Small Business Server
    • 46% discount through Dec 31st, 2012 to achieve the Silver Small Business competency - Details here.

Sounds like it's going to be an AWESOME year to be a Microsoft Partner!  Which opportunities are you most excited about?

Keith | Twitter: @KeithMayer | LinkedIn:

Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 3:15 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Lots of Exciting Announcements from WPC - Windows 8, Windows Server, Azure, Office 365 and MORE!

No comments posted yet.
Your comment:
 (will show your gravatar)

Copyright © KeithMayer | Powered by: