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Certified, Gold Certified Logos, Benefits Expire in 7 Weeks

The ambiguous era of overlap between the old Microsoft Partner Program titles and the new Microsoft Partner Network labels is drawing to a close.

Eric Ligman, director of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Experience, issued an official warning Monday in the form of a blog post titled, "Certified and Gold Certified partners, your Microsoft partner logo and software usage rights are about to expire."

Even though the full gold competencies of the newer Microsoft Partner Network went live on Nov. 1, 2010, partners had a full year -- until Oct. 31, 2011 -- to make the transition from the Microsoft Certified Partner and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner branding of the Microsoft Partner Program. Under the Software and Logo Benefits Extension, former Certified and Gold Certified partners could continue to brand themselves and use the software benefits of the older designations until that deadline.

"Well, as hard as it is to believe, that October 31, 2011 deadline is now just 7 weeks away," Ligman wrote. " As such, once we pass the October 31, 2011 date, there is no such thing as the 'Gold Certified Partner' or a 'Certified Partner' branding anymore and all benefit extensions are gone."

Soon all Certified logos will be out of the market (or at least risking Microsoft's legal wrath). Partners with silver competencies, and especially gold competencies, in the MPN will have a cleaner story to take to their customers. They'll no longer be competing with legacy partners with non-comparable precious metal-related titles.

Posted by Scott Bekker on September 12, 2011


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