HOUSTON — July 9, 2013 — Microsoft today announced plans to integrate the Windows Embedded Partner Program (WEPP) with the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), providing partners including embedded device manufacturers, silicon vendors, designers, solution providers and systems integrators with an increased level of support that scales to the growth potential of intelligent systems. The change was announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston.
The move to the MPN, scheduled for later this year, will provide the scale of programs and resources that partners need to meet projected business growth against the intelligent systems market opportunity. According to IDC estimates, the market for intelligent systems will double from 2.3 billion units and $1.3 trillion in revenue in 2012 to nearly 4.6 billion units and over $2.3 trillion in revenue by 2016. And by consolidating offerings and resources onto MPN, Microsoft partners will have easier access to the resources they need, regardless of the product.
“Partners play a critical role in creating solutions that address the needs of retail, manufacturing, healthcare and a range of industries,” says Barb Edson, general manager of marketing and business development for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “This move will provide them with added support and resources to create intelligent systems solutions that address their customers’ needs.”
In addition to the training, sales support and marketing collateral that MPN offers, and which was available with WEPP, partners will benefit from the knowledge of more than 500,000 companies that are members of MPN. A large community forum provides the chance to glean information and identifying business opportunities. And partners will receive internal use rights to product and related toolkits and software development kits.
Levels of service to match partner needs
Those partners that attained Gold and Silver competencies as part of WEPP can expect a similar level of service and recognition opportunities under MPN. With the move comes an annual subscription fee that is standard for all members.
Microsoft also announced four new MPN specializations, one of which pertains to building intelligent systems. Qualifying independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators (SIs) will have the opportunity to work closely with Windows Embedded and its customers in designing, developing and deploying Microsoft intelligent systems solutions. This specialization is an evolution of the resources that the WEPP made available last year and helps formalize intelligent systems as an opportunity for partners wanting to harness the growth potential of embedded technologies.
For companies that have been designing, developing or creating embedded devices, or those that are new to the embedded systems market, MPN is creating a Device Design and Development Resource Center that will be available as part of the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS) in January 2014. As the name implies, MAPS is a subscription-based model that provides access to similar resources as the competency model but on a more limited basis.
With MAPS, device-makers can venture into the world of embedded systems and begin developing a sense of the opportunities in store, before fully committing. MAPS comes with internal usage rights; sales enablement tools, such as a total cost of ownership calculator; training; and technical support to help close business.
Additional details will be announced later this year.
For more information on the Windows Embedded partner program, visit the Windows Embedded website.
 IDC Worldwide Intelligent Systems 2012–2016 Forecast: The Next Big Opportunity Accelerates, doc #235404, June 2012