In the U.S. Partner Newsletter, the first Monday of each month features recommendations by each Region. Today, they had the honor of welcoming you to the new Microsoft Partner Network, and also noting our very exciting announcement on 10/19 about Office 365, which will launch in 2011. We’ll bring you more about the new Network and about Office 365 in your newsletter and here on the blog in the coming weeks. Much of the content this week is focused on

Below are all the items we published in this week’s newsletter. If you feel that the version you received in e-mail, targeted to you according to your company’s partner profile and your role at your company, is missing something critical from this superset, please let me know by commenting here or sending me an e-mail (partnerQ@microsoft.com).

Cheers,

Diane Golshan
Sr. Marketing Manager, U.S. Partner Team
Learn more about what I do at Microsoft.

Join our new U.S. Partner Community on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow @msuspartner on Twitter.

Local Recommendations for November

Partner News

It's Here! Welcome to Your Microsoft Partner Network (apologies for the broken link—this has been corrected - dg)
Today marks the first day of the new program for Microsoft partners. The Microsoft Partner Network includes new membership opportunities and a wider variety of ways to engage with Microsoft. Participate in a community, enroll in the Network, purchase a subscription, earn silver and gold competencies. Through these membership options, partner organizations of any size can make the most of new Microsoft products and technologies to capitalize on market demand to build their businesses. Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, welcomes you to the Network and shares his insights about the new opportunities that are awaiting you.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate
This Release Candidate signals the last public beta build to be released prior to the Release to Manufacturing. The new features in the SP1 are Windows Server 2008 R2-related virtualization technologies.

Microsoft Lync: Get the Latest Partner Resources
Download the Microsoft Lync Release Candidate and become acquainted with this new generation of Microsoft real-time communications products for business. Lync will be part of the Microsoft Office 365 offering that was announced on October 19.

New Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Sneak Peek Campaign
Microsoft Lync is about connecting people in new ways and making those interactions more productive, collaborative, and engaging. Use our Sneak Peek campaign and help your customers discover how Lync can help increase their productivity.

Get Started with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
Discover the many new features and benefits of developing with SQL Server 2008 R2, including more efficient server management and expanded reporting and analytics for self service Business Intelligence (BI) to the SQL Server platform.

Help SMB Customers Simplify IT and Increase Business Efficiency
Show small and midsize businesses how Microsoft cloud-based services and traditional software can help them simplify their IT infrastructure while increasing business efficiency. Utilize the Microsoft "Simplify IT" campaign using online, email, and event-planning tools available from Ready-to-Go Marketing.

Running a Webinar Has Never Been Easier
Webinars are easy when Worktank handles production, registration, and moderation. Register for the Worktank Webinar Service before December 31 to qualify for a rebate of up to $500.

Make Partner-to-Partner Connections in the IAMCP U.S.
Partners tell us they are often more successful when they come together to deliver joint solutions, to learn from one another, or expand their networks. Consider joining the IAMCP-U.S. to expand your business through partner-to-partner networking and activities.

IAMCP–U.S. Virtual Member Meeting on November 17
Join the IAMCP–U.S. for the virtual all-member meeting on November 17. Hear the latest product launch announcements about Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft Office 365, the next version of Microsoft Online Services.

Special Offer: Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
Current users of Expression Studio 4 Premium can upgrade to Expression Studio 4 Ultimate for $199. Take advantage of the new tools for developing rich desktop experiences now.

Microsoft Dynamics Case Study: National Network of Digital Schools
See how the success of Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) led to the founding of the National Network of Digital Schools, making PA Cyber’s model for online education available worldwide.

What Kind of Cloud are You? Take Our Quiz to Find Out
Trying to determine what cloud solutions are right for your company or for your customers? Our "cloud quiz" for IT Pros and Developers is a quick, fun way to get acquainted with Microsoft cloud services products and find resources for different solution scenarios.

Training Resources

Build Your Server Virtualization Business
Register now for Server Virtualization Practice Accelerator sessions to get a comprehensive set of reusable tools and resources, introduced with training through Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Microsoft Online Services Chalk Talk
In this on-demand webcast, listen as Margo Day, Microsoft Regional Vice President, West Region, provides a simplified explanation of how Online Services offerings fit together and how you can help your customers get to the cloud.

Join the Windows Phone 7 Developer Program
Join the free Windows Phone 7 Developer Program and get an easy roadmap to development, test, and market you Windows Phone 7 apps. Receive additional benefits and a $99 Marketplace Rebate after publishing two or more apps into the Marketplace.

Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) – Live Webcast on November 11
Microsoft will introduce a new offer in its Academic licensing portfolio starting December 1. This Level 300 session will include a deep dive into the first phase of the launch and transition scenarios for customers from their existing Licensing dispositions to EES. Visit the partner portal for additional EES details.

Transform Your Business to Capture the Online Services Opportunity
Learn best practices for transitioning your sales, marketing, services delivery, and operations to capture your share of the rapidly growing Microsoft Online Services opportunity. Use the Learning Plan Tool to build a training plan for each part of your business.

Windows 7 Birthday Celebration Sweepstakes
Get to know Windows 7 and celebrate the one-year birthday. Each time you complete an eligible Windows 7 training course, you'll be automatically entered to win one of four Windows 7 prizes.Game ends November 12.

Content for the Small Business Specialist Community and Online Services Resellers

U.S. SBSC Monthly Call - Thursday, November 11
Join us the second Thursday of each month for our Small Business Specialist Community call series. On each call, we'll feature presenters from Microsoft, from among your SBSC peers, and who are industry experts about the small and midsize customer segments.

Join the U.S. SMB Cloud Champions Club
The Cloud Champions Club offers resources, incentives, and training to eligible, cloud-committed U.S. partners. Accelerate your BPOS deal flow and gain new customers with marketing support and funds, as well as proof of concept and migration support funds. Attend our November 12 webcast.

Understanding the BPOS to Office 365 Transition
Microsoft Office 365 will not be available until 2011, but you can start getting guidance for helping customers make the transition from BPOS. Resources include an FAQ, downloadable checklist, and a link to the new Transition Forum.