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In-Depth Features


The 2014 Microsoft Product Roadmap

From Windows 8.1 receiving its first major update to the "Threshold" release wave beginning to take shape, 2014 promises to be an important year for Microsoft's vision of a more unified product ecosystem. Key releases for Office, Dynamics, Windows Phone and others are also in the offing over the next 12 months.

GALLERY: Partners Unveil Fresh Crop of Lync Hardware

Enterprise interest in Lync is surging, and Microsoft's partners are taking advantage by freshening up their UC hardware offerings. Check out some of the highlights from this year's Lync Conference.

Lync Finds Its Groove in 'Universal Communications' Era

Partners are seeing a massive upswing in business for the Microsoft software-based unified communications platform. Will upcoming enhancements keep the party going?

Microsoft Partner Network Cost: How Much To Join the MPN? (Updated)

WEB EXCLUSIVE: The short answer? It depends. For most U.S. solution providers, the MPN costs between $0 and $5,260. We break down the perks of six cost levels so you can determine where your firm will get the most bang for its buck.

Microsoft Action Pack Overhaul: Q&A

Bob Marsh, an original architect of the Microsoft Action Pack, talks about the origins of the channel's most popular subscription program and the best and worst parts of the controversial recent revamp.

The Cloud Boom and the Rise of Hybrid Solution Providers

As megavendors build datacenters to support their cloud visions, they're wooing solution providers that can connect customers' on-premises systems to the new cloud platforms.

How Microsoft Licensing Is Throttling Desktop as a Service

SMBs are ready for Microsoft to let DaaS out of the box now, but Microsoft licensing policies are holding the market back, argues VDI consultant Michael Fraser.

CEO 3.0: What Microsoft's Partners Want from Satya Nadella

Public statements so far from Satya Nadella provide a strong hint of what the new Microsoft CEO will give partners, what he won't and what's negotiable.

GALLERY: 7 Compelling Windows Devices from CES 2014

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft's hardware partners have unveiled a slew of innovative devices running Windows 8.1 during this year's Consumer Electronics Show. We gathered some of the more interesting ones in this gallery.

Marching Orders 2014: Partner Tips and Predictions from Channel Experts

What will 2014 bring? RCP's stable of experts know, and they share their insights on everything from cloud and hybrid to new business models to the coming frenzy of Windows XP replacement.

Microsoft's SMB Partners Say Goodbye to Small Business Server

Time runs out on new sales of the venerable Windows Small Business Server this month. Having had plenty of warning, the SMB partner community is already moving on.

Surface 2: Microsoft Makes Strides in Hardware, but Not in Partner Opportunity

Microsoft refreshed its lineup of PC-tablet hybrids this fall with the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2. The hardware is compelling, but channel incentives are lagging.

Microsoft Partner Network Roadmap: A Guide to Upcoming MPN Changes

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft is readying a wave of modifications to the Microsoft Partner Network. Between the launch of new competencies and the retirement of several cloud programs, partners will be busy over the coming months as they prepare for the changes. Here's a timeline detailing what changes to expect, and what each will entail for partners.

RCP Rocket Awards: Meet the Winners

Three companies earned our inaugural award for sustainable business growth. See how winners Axis Group LLC, Envision LLC and Intellinet Corp. planned and executed their way to success.

Windows 8.1: The 8 Best Features and Fixes

The Windows 8.1 Preview reveals a much-improved OS that fixes many of the flaws in the original Windows 8 release. Here's what to look for in the new OS.

Q&A: Microsoft's Martorano on His Expanded U.S. Channel Role

Exec will manage National Systems Integrators, Licensing Solution Providers and Microsoft Surface sales.

Microsoft's New Channel Chief on 'Devices + Services' and the Changing Channel

Phil Sorgen, a veteran of many senior roles in the Microsoft field, was named corporate vice president for the Worldwide Partner Group, replacing Jon Roskill.

Windows Azure Helps Small Partner Score Huge Deal

How one small Microsoft partner in the U.K. leveraged the Windows Azure cloud service to win a huge contract against consortiums of IT giants -- enabling a more robust solution at a lower cost than traditional IT approaches could promise.

MPN 2.0: Behind the Microsoft Partner Network Overhaul

At the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft laid out a major overhaul of the 3-year-old Microsoft Partner Network. The changes send several important messages about how the software giant is thinking about its partners and their role.

Microsoft Partner Network Competency Changes in 2014 (Flow Chart)

In January 2014, Microsoft will boil 25 competencies and one quasi-competency down to 22. Here are the key changes (and a list of the competncies that remain unchanged).