Top Channel Marker blogs for July 2010

Blog posts from the big Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference drew the most Channel Marker readers in July. Top posts included news on Microsoft's Azure cloud as well as clarification on requirements for Microsoft Gold partner status.

News that funneled in from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., was a big draw for IT Channel readers. From Microsoft's plans for Azure to its ever-changing partner competencies requirements, these blog posts kept readers clicking in July.

Here are the top five Channel Marker blog posts for July.

1. Microsoft positions Azure as the cloud for all

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, despite lacking product details, explained to customers the benefits of the new Azure appliance at the WPC. This should be good news for customers who want to run Azure in-house, but how Azure stacks up against Amazon Web Services remains in question. According to blogger Barbara Darrow, some of Ballmer's other comments regarding cloud computing can be construed as direct shots at VMware.

2. Clearing up the Gold mess at Microsoft

If you were confused concerning Microsoft competency requirements earlier this summer, you weren't alone. To clarify what's expected of a Certified partner and a Gold Certified partner, Microsoft released a requirement guide. Gold and Silver competencies will replace the planned "Advanced Competency" and regular Competency levels. Gold competencies will be based on specific skill areas.

3. Microsoft partners will once again go for the gold

After all the talk about assigning the "Advanced tier" status to certain partners, Microsoft kicked those plans out the window at WPC in July. Microsoft said it will now dole out Gold and Silver badges based on area of expertise. Some partners were happy with this news because they thought the new competencies would carry greater significance than the previous, all-encompassing Microsoft Gold status.

4. Top five questions for Microsoft at WPC

Going into the Microsoft WPC, partners had some big questions for Microsoft. Top of mind, according to Channel Marker blogger Barbara Darrow, were questions around competency levels and the much-hyped Microsoft Azure cloud. Take a peek at the other areas of partner focus and see what was covered at the WPC 2010 here.

5. Microsoft partners expect cloud deluge at WPC

We were told to expect a healthy helping of cloud computing at the WPC. Taking the "better late than never" approach for cloud computing, Microsoft made it clear that Windows Azure was going to be a big topic of conversation. Details on Microsoft's position in the cloud prior to the conference and partners' feelings on Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) are explained in this blog post.

Be sure to check out the top Channel Marker blog posts for June 2010.

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