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Microsoft's New Certification Program for ISVs, ASPs

Microsoft announced Microsoft Certified Partner and Microsoft Certified Gold Partner programs for ISVs, ASPs.

As ENT Magazine's Chris McConnell reports, at Internet World in San Francisco, Microsoft announced new Microsoft Certified Partner and Microsoft Certified Gold Partner programs. These programs are aimed at drumming up support from independent software vendors and application service providers for Microsoft's newest technology initiatives, as well as unifying into one program the many separate programs for different partner types. Before the introduction of these programs, ISVs and ASPs had been left out of official certifying programs aimed at validating their use of Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft is introducing new specifications for certifying partners using a two-tiered approach for labels. Vendors who meet the specifications are anointed "Microsoft Certified Partners," with partners who go above and beyond can reach the heights of "Microsoft Certified Gold Partners."

The specifications for certifying ISVs as certified partners run in addition to certifying an application. If 35 percent of an ISV's output is certified for the Windows platform, the company can apply to become a partner. Unlike consulting organizations, Microsoft certifies ISVs on the basis of code, rather than people.

Quality of service is the critical factor for ASPs who want to gain certification within the programs. Microsoft engineers visit a site to check out the operating environment, and to see whether the partner can deliver on services offered to customers.

To read a detailed report of the announcement, see Chris McConnell's report on the ENT Magazine Web site at http://www.entmag.com/breaknews.asp?ID=3568.

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