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Microsoft partners will once again go for the gold

So remember all that stuff about Microsoft ditching the “Gold” partner designation because it didn’t mean anything? Well, never mind.

The company has re-revised plans to move to an “Advanced” tier and instead will encourage partners to go for Gold or Silver badges within their product/technology competencies.

The news stunned Microsoft partners at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington D.C. today. It was an offhand mention in the Tuesday morning keynote. Details, presumably, will come at break out sessions.

IDC channel analyst Darren Bibby said the last minute reversal confuses things coming just as Microsoft partners are being asked to gear up for the new Microsoft Partner Network and related partner programs and certifications.  

On the plus side, a Gold designation within a particular technology area or competency –say content management or business intelligence–conveys more meaning than the old, broader “Gold” designation, Bibby said.

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