Becoming a New Microsoft Partner

The Microsoft Partner Program Guide for ISV's and Web Partners


Thank you for your interest in joining Microsoft’s Partner Program as an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) or Web Partner.


  • What is an ISV?

  • What is the Microsoft Partner Program?

  • Step by Step process of becoming a Microsoft Partner

  • Web Partner Solutions

  • Questions

What is an ISV?

Wikipedia's definition of an ISV is "a company specialising in making or selling standardised software, usually for niche markets, such as that for real estate brokers, scheduling for healthcare personnel etc."  It's a pretty broad definition as it's includes anybody developing software using Microsoft tools or platform. 

What is the Microsoft Partner Program?

Official words:

From business planning to customer retention, the Microsoft Partner Program offers a single, integrated partnering framework that recognises your expertise, rewards you for the total impact that you have in the technology marketplace, and delivers value to help your business succeed, regardless of your business size or focus. Microsoft wants to help you move your business forward by providing valuable resource you need to meet your business goals.

My words: it's one of the best partner programs in the industry as it contains a mixture of sales, marketing and technical tools.  The most valuable benefits being internal use software to run your business; training and being listed in customer directories.

Step by Step Process of becoming a Microsoft Partner

Step one: become a Microsoft Registered Partner:

There is no cost to do this and it will enable you to access secure content and training resources on the partner website, as well as subscribing to our regular newsletter. In order to find out more about our local resources for ISV’s, please visit


Step two:

register for Empower:

If you have not completed the development of your application yet, we have a different program to support your development efforts. As a Registered Partner you are able to enrol in the Empower program (12 month subscription for $875AUD). This is a program for partners who are developing a packaged software solution, and require development tools and access to resources to assist them for a period of time until their software is complete, and ready to be tested. At that stage, to progress in the Microsoft Partner Program and become a Microsoft Certified Partner it will be necessary to test your product, and provide some customer references in order to gain a “competency”.

If you have completed the development of your application and it is market, proceed to step 3.

Step three: become a Microsoft Certified Partner

If you have completed the development of your software application you may want to immediately submit it for testing. Full info on the testing and costs is here Having a tested product and supplying customer references will gain you the ISV- Software Solutions Competency and with a competency you are able to become a Microsoft Certified Partner. The link to more information on gaining this competency is located here:

The cost per annum of Microsoft Certified Partner membership is ~$3465AUD. This is membership for a single site – with one set of benefits. You can also register any other sites and they can use the Certified Partner logo too. Details of the benefits are here:

Web Partner Solutions

If you are a partner offering web solutions to your customers, such as rich interactive solutions (RIA), online video streaming, please email and we'll provide you with some resources.

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If you have any further questions about the process of becoming a partner, please contact our Partner Hotline on 13 20 58 option 4 or Or email me at

I hope this helps,