imageThis issue of the U.S. partner news is blog only, but still full of great opportunities to review and utilize over the holidays. A reminder to take advantage of licensing promotions that can help your customers update their IT infrastructures and migrate to new Microsoft products—some of these, like the Big Easy Offer 9 and Cloud Easy, expire December 31.

For updates specific to your Microsoft Partner Network membership, check out our blog series:

Announcements

How to Prepare for the New Office
Partner resources for the new Office are listed in our new comprehensive online guide. Whether you are looking for technical training, marketing materials, sales and licensing information, or internal-use benefits information, you’ll find links to what you need in our guide.

January 22-24 in Redmond, WA: Ignite Plus – Office Partner Launchimage
Join the Microsoft Office Division in Redmond, WA for our partner launch event for the new Office. You'll learn about the new technical capabilities of this release and about business opportunities for partners. The event features presentations, demonstrations, and discussions with experts from the Office team and the Microsoft Partner Network team.

Enter to Win a Trip to Aspen by Earning a Sales Specialist Accreditation
Through December 31, earn prize drawing entries when you prepare for and pass your Microsoft sales specialist and pre-sales technical specialist assessments. Prizes include Aspen travel packages and $200 Columbia gift cards. Official rules.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for December 2012
As part of our usual cycle of security updates, we released our latest Security Bulletin Summary on Tuesday, December 11, with five Critical-class and two Important-class, addressing 12 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Word and Windows Server. The next bulletin is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8. Register for the January 2013 security bulletin webcast.

 

Build Windows Phone 8 Apps in Just 30 Days
Turn your app dreams into a real Windows Phone app with our support, resources, and training guides. Take the 30-day GenerationApp challenge and use our handy day-by-day resources to create a killer app.

 

Windows Azure Offer for Microsoft Partner Network Members
Windows Azure works with any language, framework, or tools so OSS-based web apps and services feel at home on this cloud platform. Take advantage of this offer for Microsoft Partner Network members that includes a base level of monthly Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Mobile Services, Web Sites, storage, data transfers, Media Services Encoding, CDN, SQL Database, SQL Reporting, Access Control transactions and Service Bus connections at no charge.

 

Transform Web Skills into Windows 8 Apps and Income
Turn your web skills into Windows 8 apps using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Sign up to receive 30 days of tools and support.

 

System Center 2012 SP1 Beta is Now Available
System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) introduces support for Windows Server 2012. New features include integration with Windows Azure Virtual Machines, 360-Degree Application Monitoring through Global Service Monitor (GSM), and the REST OData API for integration with hosted service provider clouds.

 

Download the Windows Server 2012 Evaluation for IT Pros
Simply put, Windows Server 2012 helps you transform your IT operations to reduce costs and deliver a whole new level of business value. Download the free Windows Server 2012 evaluation and learn what it can do for you today.

Download Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 For Free
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 is a hypervisor-based server virtualization product that enables you to consolidate workloads, helping organizations improve server utilization and reduce costs. Download it for free and learn about key features and functionality.

 

Get Ready for Microsoft Dynamics FY13 December Quarter Close
The Microsoft Dynamics Regional Operations Centers will be working hard to ensure you experience seamless order processing for the December quarter close. Read our recommendations posted on PartnerSource to help you prepare to ensure you enjoy a stress-free holiday season.

Certified Software Advisor (CSA) Quick Reference Guide
View the Certified Software Advisor (CSA) Quick Reference Guide as a resource for partner incentives for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Training resources

U.S. Partner Hot Sheet for January 2013
Plan ahead for January training using the latest U.S. Partner Hot Sheet. You’ll find links to training-related promotions, in-person learning like the Microsoft Lync 2013 Technical Ignite, and live online events covering the latest Microsoft products and technologies.

Virtual Chalk Talks for IT Pros and Developers, Featuring Microsoft Experts
Chalk Talks are free-form sessions, facilitated by whiteboard interactions that allow you to ask questions and receive real-time feedback from Microsoft experts. Use our January schedule to register for Chalk Talks about Microsoft Lync, virtualization, Microsoft Office 365, and Windows Azure.

Practice Accelerator Schedule for January 2013
Learn how to build repeatable practices based on Microsoft solutions with the training and tools of Practice Accelerator. January sessions cover topics such as Datacenter Management, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Business Intelligence and Datacenter Consolidation and Migration.

Microsoft Lync 2013 Technical Ignite
Stay ahead of the market with this four-day workshop in Chicago on January 8 and in Washington, D.C. on January 14. Presentations will cover a wide variety of topics for Lync, both on-premise and online, and there will be hands-on labs that create an interactive Lync experience.

Earn a Chance to Win an Xbox with On-Demand Cloud Training
Take any of our featured Windows Intune, Windows Azure or Microsoft Dynamics CRM training in December for a chance to win an Xbox 360 Pro Console. Official Rules.

Save 50% on Practice Tests for Certification Exams
If you’re preparing for a Microsoft certification, take advantage of this offer from Transcender for Microsoft Partner Network members.

New Windows 8 Hands-on Lab Online Training
New courses have just been added for January—register to get first-hand experience with settings and preferences, secondary tiles, and push notifications. Targeted for developers or IT Pros, HOLOs are free 3-hour training sessions which include a live presentation followed by virtual labs.

New Windows Azure Hands-on Lab Online Training
New Hands-on Lab Online (HOLO) training courses have just been added for the New Year. Sign up for in-depth trainings on Windows Azure. Targeted for developers or IT Pros, HOLOs are free 3-hour training sessions which include a live presentation followed by virtual labs.

Microsoft OEM Training Zone: Two Ways to Win Sweepstakes
Learn about Windows 8 and the new Office. OEM partner call center and sales professionals can enter to win one of three Xbox 360 250 GB Kinect Holiday Bundles or a copy of Windows 8 Pro by completing qualifying training courses. Contest ends January 28. Official Rules.

Training recommendations for the new Office, Microsoft Lync 2013, and Microsoft SharePoint 2013

Training for Business Decision Makers

Meet the New Office
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823692

Making Money with the New Office
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823998

Pricing and SKU: Understanding the new Office Business Model
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823691

How to Introduce "The New Office" to Enterprise IT Decision Makers
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=824146

Updates on the Latest New Office Training and Certification Opportunities
http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_learning/archive/2012/11/16/u-s-partner-hot-sheet-special-edition-the-new-office.aspx

Read and bookmark our new Office online guide for partners
http://blogs.technet.com/b/msuspartner/archive/2012/12/12/how-to-prepare-for-the-new-office.aspx

Build a New Office Learning Plan
http://www.microsoftlearningplans.com/Setup.aspx?ProductId=11003 

Training for IT Professionals

How to Introduce "The New Office" to Enterprise IT Decision Makers
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=824146

First Look: Lync 2013 Technical Overview
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=817888

SharePoint 2013 IT Pro Introduction and Overview
ttp://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/CourseViewerR5.htm?CourseXmlFile=http://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/SharePoint2013TrainingITPro.xml&Operation=LoadModule&Module=0

SharePoint 2013 System Requirements
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/CourseViewerR5.htm?CourseXmlFile=http://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/SharePoint2013TrainingITPro.xml&Operation=PlayVid&uuid=fa0625f1-82f9-49b8-bb48-8ad8c7958f14&Module=1

Updates on the Latest New Office Training and Certification Opportunities
http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_learning/archive/2012/11/16/u-s-partner-hot-sheet-special-edition-the-new-office.aspx

Read and bookmark our new Office online guide for partners
http://blogs.technet.com/b/msuspartner/archive/2012/12/12/how-to-prepare-for-the-new-office.aspx

Build a New Office Learning Plan
http://www.microsoftlearningplans.com/Setup.aspx?ProductId=11003 

 

Training for Developers

Meet the New Office
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823692

First Look: Lync 2013 Technical Overview
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=817888

Introduction to Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 Development
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/CourseViewerR5.htm?CourseXmlFile=http://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/SharePoint2013TrainingDeveloper.xml&Operation=PlayVid&uuid=89fb81b5-dfb2-4490-b012-0cda19b31036&Module=0

SharePoint 2013 App Model for Developers
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/CourseViewerR5.htm?CourseXmlFile=http://www.microsoft.com/resources/msdn/en-us/office/media/courseviewer/SharePoint2013TrainingDeveloper.xml&Operation=LoadModule&Module=1

Updates on the Latest New Office Training and Certification Opportunities
http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_learning/archive/2012/11/16/u-s-partner-hot-sheet-special-edition-the-new-office.aspx

Read and bookmark our new Office online guide for partners
http://blogs.technet.com/b/msuspartner/archive/2012/12/12/how-to-prepare-for-the-new-office.aspx

Build a New Office Learning Plan
http://www.microsoftlearningplans.com/Setup.aspx?ProductId=11003 

 

 

Training for Sales and Marketing Roles

Meet the New Office
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823692

Selling the New Office to SMB Customers

https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823999

How to Introduce "The New Office" to Enterprise IT Decision Makers
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=824146

New Office: Competing to Win Against Google Apps in the Enterprise
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=825661

Updates on the Latest New Office Training and Certification Opportunities
http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_learning/archive/2012/11/16/u-s-partner-hot-sheet-special-edition-the-new-office.aspx  

Read and bookmark our new Office online guide for partners
http://blogs.technet.com/b/msuspartner/archive/2012/12/12/how-to-prepare-for-the-new-office.aspx

Build a New Office Learning Plan
http://www.microsoftlearningplans.com/Setup.aspx?ProductId=11003 

 

 

Training for Training Roles

Making Money with the New Office
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823998

Pricing and SKU: Understanding the New Office Business Model
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=823691

First Look: Lync 2013 Technical Overview
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=817888

How to Introduce "The New Office" to Enterprise IT Decision Makers
https://training.partner.microsoft.com/learning/app/management/LMS_ActDetails.aspx?UserMode=0&ActivityId=824146

Updates on the Latest New Office Training and Certification Opportunities
http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_learning/archive/2012/11/16/u-s-partner-hot-sheet-special-edition-the-new-office.aspx

Read and bookmark our new Office online guide for partners
http://blogs.technet.com/b/msuspartner/archive/2012/12/12/how-to-prepare-for-the-new-office.aspx

Build a New Office Learning Plan
http://www.microsoftlearningplans.com/Setup.aspx?ProductId=11003