The New Microsoft Action Pack Subscription Debuts February 24


October 2014 Update

Thank you for your interest in the Microsoft Action Pack subscription. The new Action Pack has been in market for several months now. You can learn more about your Action Pack opportunities and benefits on the partner portal. The short video below also provides an Action Pack overview.


Original post

The Microsoft Action Pack subscription has long provided many Microsoft Partner Network members with cost-effective access to internal use software licenses and technical, sales, and marketing resources. A few years ago, the Action Pack was updated to offer a choice between two editions, based on whether your business model was as a solution provider (build, install, service) or in the design and development of applications and web-based solutions.

As the market rapidly evolves, and as Microsoft shifts to its devices and services strategy, the Microsoft Partner Network is changing to better position our partners to build Microsoft-based practices that meet customer demands. There are program-wide changes that will take effect in February, and there are changes to our two primary membership options, the Microsoft Action Pack and MPN competencies. For competency requirements updates, read Julie Bennani’s blog post. For information about the new Action Pack, please read on.

The Microsoft Action Pack has been redesigned, and on February 24 we’ll switch on this new, robust, universal subscription model. Your subscription will help you capitalize on the growing cloud opportunities in small and medium businesses by providing you with access to marketing, technical, and readiness tools aligned to these partner business models:

  • Application development and design
  • Device design and development
  • Hosting
  • Managed services
  • Professional services
  • Reselling


  • Internal-use Microsoft software licenses to support up to a 10-person organization, deployed through Microsoft Cloud Services or on-premises software.
  • Access to online and telephone support for presales, technical, and deployment issues.
  • Developer tools, including Visual Studio, and MSDN subscriptions to support development across Microsoft platforms—desktop, phone, server, and web.
  • Bing Ads credits for you and your customers, to market products, services, and solutions.

Pages 10-12 in the downloadable Microsoft Partner Network disclosure guide provide you with more details about these changes.


The new Action Pack subscription will be priced at US $475.

Guidance for Current Subscribers

If you are already an Action Pack Solution Provider or Action Pack Development and Design subscriber, you will have access to the new benefits and resources starting February 24. No action from you is necessary until your next subscription renewal.

Guidance for Renewing Subscribers

If your Action Pack renewal date is approaching, you can renew your subscription up to 30 days prior to that date. If you are in your 30-day renewal timeframe, and complete your renewal before February 24, you’ll pay the current price and save on the first year of your subscription. You’ll have access to the new benefits and resources starting February 24.

If you need assistance with your renewal, the Partner membership forum in the Partner Support Community can help. You can request 1:1 communication with an agent.

Guidance for New Subscribers

Subscribe to the Action Pack before February 24, and pay the current price. You’ll save on the first year of your subscription, and get access to the new benefits and resources as soon as the new model goes live, on February 24.

If you need assistance with your new subscription, the partner membership forum in the Partner Support Community can help. You can request 1:1 communication with an agent.

Comments (78)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from Partners: Redesigned Microsoft Action Pack subscription debuts Feb. 24 | The Fire Hose

  2. Brian says:

    Diane, Could you use some of this increased revenue to improve your partner website? It rarely functions correctly, crashes, is horribly slow, impossible to navigate and does not work well with Internet Explorer. I’m certain that it would improve Microsoft’s position with their partners.

  3. Leaving Microsoft says:

    Microsoft’s recent offering have all been expensive garbage. As an NT4.0 MCE up to 2008 R2 MCITP, I have always considered Microsoft servers to be my core skill.

    Take a look at the Cisco certified guys–so much less stress. And Cisco products are generally feature complete, work as advertised, and don’t break spontaneously. I am switching career tracks to get away from ever having to touch Microsoft products again. Nothing is worth the kind of job stress they add.

    On the subject, how many of you all have business owners thinking you are lying to them when you try to explain how they can be license compliant? It’s so surreal and unreasonable that people always assume it’s my mistake when I quote licenses. I sell those license at cost so I can show the invoice to customers, so they will not hold Microsoft’s policies against me. I am so happy to be a “partner”. I am so happy to get spam from Microsoft about selling new products. Microsoft products are my loss leader, no profit hassle.

    Thank God every mobile device Microsoft has ever made has flopped. Otherwise we’d all be paying an $800 Windows license fee with every cell phone. Oh wait–you have to subscribe to Office 365 to edit a Word doc on your iPad, hey they did find a way to screw mobile users even after losing over and over in the mobile marketplace. Microsoft now is like General Motors in the 70s. Badly made garbage.

  4. Jeff Y. says:

    I was thinking about subscribing but now I am having second thoughts. I agree the price is just a little too steep.

  5. Tim says:

    Diane, do you know if the new MAP includes Power BI with the Office 365 E3 accounts?

  6. Rick says:

    This is wonderful. No more TechNet. A resource used to download install files when legitimate customers had lost their original media but had valid certificates of authenticity.

    Price raised by $200.00

    Near impossible to get paperwork filled out to get paid as partner of record for cloud services.

    Not notified of impending expiration and lose the ability to renew one last time at the lower price.

    Not open on weekends to deal with renewal issues, so I will have to use up valuable Business days dealing with internal issues instead of servicing clients.

    I am quite disappointed.

    For a company losing market share, you would think they would be inclined to keep their free sales force less disgruntled.

  7. sjacobs says:

    I don’t see why everyone is complaining. For $475, you can run your entire business if 10 people or less. A single copy of Office Pro is almost that much, and Visual Studio is included, SQL Server, etc. You have got to be kidding me about all of the belly aching on this site.

  8. ML49448 says:

    It is absolutely ridiculous that every time I log in to the Microsoft Action Pack website to download software for testing or internal use, there seems to be a new competency and I must pass and then wait 2 days before being able to download the software that I have already paid for.

    As soon as we are able to download AGAIN, I will simply have my tech’s download all software and product keys and never log in to the Action Pack website again.

    In typical Microsoft fashion, this process is sdrawkcab ssa!

  9. Jeff E says:

    Also you need to update the December Disclosure because it also stated that renewals would be in the new action pack.

  10. Jeff E says:

    Please either update your blog or correct your employees. This is what I got after going through chat on why I can’t get MSDN. Ok, if you re-enrolled on the previous Action Pack you had the opportunity to cancel that order, have the payment reversed and in no later than 2 busines days you would have been able to Subscribe to the New Action Pack, that was available within 30 days after you renewed the previous MAP. And this:but no action pack was going to be activated automatically, and according to the MAP policies automatic update to the new Pack was not an option for partner who just renewed to their previous Action Packs before the renewal date

  11. Jeff E says:

    Was there a specific time frame that the conversions would need to be purchased in? I was up for renewal on 1/1/2014 but didn’t renew until 2/1/2014. I still am showing as a Solution Provider and when I chatted with support they stated that I would not be able to upgrade until 2/1/2015 and wasn’t able to help.


  12. Brian says:

    With all of the price increases over the years.. It would be really great if Microsoft might at least offer a promotional discount to members that have been loyal to the program over the years. I have been a subscriber for ten years or more, and the price now is to the point where it makes it extremely difficult to justify the purchase… : – (

  13. Paul Milliard says:

    I’m done with Microsoft and it’s products. I’m abandoning selling Microsoft and developing for/on that platform. I’m typing this on my new MacBook Pro and am rapidly developing for Mac OS X and Open Source Platforms.

    Goodbye Microsoft…

  14. Dave M2 says:

    I will spend my $475 elsewhere! Who was the genius that thought this up …. Bernie Madoff?

  15. Bob Bruce says:

    I’m an existing subscriber and just tried to access the MSDN benefit. Support told me the quoted statement below is in ERROR. And you don’t automatically get the new benefits. Diane if your listening PLEASE CLARIFY OR ISSUE A CORRECTION.

    Guidance for Current Subscribers

    If you are already an Action Pack Solution Provider or Action Pack Development and Design subscriber, you will have access to the new benefits and resources starting February 24. No action from you is necessary until your next subscription renewal.

  16. Jeffrey Fox says:

    Microsoft, by far and by all measures the most successful company ever in producing high-quality, popular, and versatile software for our servers and workstations, decides to tread into the dominion of powerful companies like Google and Apple and compete directly with them for “devices and services”, instead of continuing to expand on their own domination in the on-premises equipment market. As a result, you see them telling us, the millions of us out here who sell and support their software, to “go to hell” by cancelling TechNet and then combining the Action Packs as a ruse to raise the price, because they don’t really care if we buy the subscriptions or not because they don’t need us. And the quality of their software has gone down. Just look at the missing features and terrible design flaws of Exchange 2013 and Office 2013. Just look at what complete sh*t Windows 8 is on a desktop computer, how annoying it is for you to hit the Start button and have your whole screen disappear to go to the new start screen that no one likes. Why should they care, as long as it works well enough to collect their monthly fee from their “cloud” subscribers, right? Why is it that I, just some guy in Los Angeles, knows the “cloud” will never replace on-premises servers and workstations for serious businesses, but Microsoft doesn’t? I just can’t believe they are that clueless about what’s going on out here. Do they never visit any sites where people run their software? Do they think companies with less than 100 users don’t exist? There are MILLIONS of them! I am truly baffled why they would abandon this market that they can still own to compete with very powerful rivals in a market that may be ephemeral.

    It would be one thing if we didn’t have an alternative for our on-site servers and workstations. But, there are more alternatives than ever, and Microsoft could easily dominate them with their development and support model, they just choose not to. Given that, a server running Linux or FreeBSD, workstations running Linux and LibreOffice, with backup systems on FreeNAS or something, can easily replace 75% of all Windows-based networks.

    I had some hope when they announced Steve Ballmer was going to retire. I thought maybe they’ll promote someone with some sense. But, here comes the head of their cloud services division to be the new CEO. Great. Bye, Microsoft. You had millions, maybe billions of devoted users and support professionals. Now you’re just going to be an annoying company pestering us to buy your crappy tablet or sign up for your service that’s no better than Google Apps.

  17. CoralBayCC says:

    So first Microsoft takes away the SBS line and now they increase my AP subscription by 44%????? And have the nerve to say that us small business consultants are important to them and they’re there for us???

    That’s just pure BS.

    Color me really unhappy.

  18. Bill Welch says:

    I’ve been a member for years. I never got a notice that my subscription was expiring and to renew. When I got the notification that the price was going up after Feb. 25 and to renew now I did! It’s been 13 days since my CC was charged and I have no ability to download software or license keys. I’m told they are working on it!

    This is a abomination! If you go to any other software company on the planet, you pay, get a conformation and you can download. Not Microsoft! This stinks!

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