Partner Question: The Difference an “S” Makes

Recently, as I was reading feedback from partner portal users, I saw this simple question: “What is the difference between and” It’s a great question, one that I also am sometimes asked internally, so worth addressing here.

Without the “S” is the Microsoft partner portal. This URL will take you to the portal home page. If you are in the U.S., you should see the words “United States” in the upper left-hand corner. If it says Global, or the name of another country, you are not seeing U.S.-specific content.  The easy way to ensure you go to the U.S. site is to bookmark and use this URL: Also, look for /US/ within any URL you are visiting on the portal, as it indicates you are viewing U.S. content (the URL will look something like this

With the “S” is the Partner Membership Center, or PMC. While you can get to the PMC by signing in to the partner portal with your Windows Live ID and selecting the “View Your Membership Account” bar above the tabs, it is actually not the partner portal, but a separate site that is used to help you manage your membership in the Microsoft Partner Network.

  • If you are the Program Administrator for your company, your PMC access includes many different options that allow you to manage your organization’s membership (such as profile, the ability to allow people to associate themselves to your company’s MPN membership, etc.), as well as to manage your individual membership.
  • If you are not the Program Administrator for your company, your PMC access is specific to your individual membership, such as contact data and professional information, like your primary Job Role and your MCP status.

It is worth noting here that whether you are responsible for your own Individual Profile only, or your company’s Organizational Profile as well as your own, your regular review and management of the information in the PMC is important. We use these data to target communications to you, and also to assess and understand our partner ecosystem.

Regardless of whether you are visiting the portal or the PMC, though, if you are having access issues, here are resources to support you:

I hope this information helps clear up some confusion about your online experience as a Microsoft partner.

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

Comments (1)
  1. Steve Hall says:

    Diane, I am yet to meet you, but I am sure I will next week at my WPC 2010 conference!

    If this is the stuff you post, we should be friends already…. I aksed this question for two years.  I know I'm months and seasons late on this topic.

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