Microsoft Partner Network Website Errors: A Rant

Microsoft Partner Network Website Errors: A Rant

As a Microsoft Partner I am often required to attempt to navigate the appalling Microsoft Partner websites (services are broken in to multiple loosely couple travesties of web design) and I almost always received errors when I try to do anything other than login (although logging often generates an error too).  This post is simply a rant for therapeutic reasons so if I ever meet Steve Balmer or Bill Gates I don’t reflexively punch them in the face.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Required

The first thing that vexes me is that Microsoft seem incapable of creating a semantically correct website that will work on all browsers – well truth be told given that a 10 year old can create a cross-browser compatible website I have to assume that Microsoft has taken the petty decision of choosing to make it Internet Explorer specific, its ridiculous:

Website Best Viewed in Internet Explorer 11


IE11 Warning in IE11The worst thing is, I’ve had this when I’ve been using Internet Explorer 11 AND I have added the website to the compatibility view settings.  All this messing around just because their developers are incapable of doing what every developer of major web based applications does: making a standards compliant website that is cross-browser compatible.

The Error Log

So here goes, my log of every error I get when using Microsoft’s ‘Portal’:

MPN Website We Encountered an Unknown Error19th January: Unexpected Error

I haven’t recieved any errors from the MPN website in a while.  Why?  Well I haven’t been using it for a while.  🙂

Today I logged in as usual, clicked to try and access my Internal Use Software License Keys and got an error:

We Encountered an Unknown Error

There was an error when we tried to process your request.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Hey at least they apologized – I’ll keep trying.

Microsoft Partner Blank Login Redirect Page12th December 2014: The Blank Screen

For no apparent reason today, no matter what route I take to login I am presented with a blank brower with a URL of:



4th Dec 2014: Adding a Customer Reference

I spent 25 minutes entering a customer reference on the original Microsoft Partner Network website (the one built in the 1300s by Robert de Bruce of Scotland), on the final page I hit submit and nothing happened. Squat. Nada.

Submit Customer Reference

As I’m a developer, I popped open Chrome’s developer bar to see what was going on and can see a JavaScript error being generated every time I click submit:

Uncaught TypeError: undefined is not a function: ReferenceSummary.aspx:614
SpamFilterAlert: ReferenceSummary.aspx:614
onclick: ReferenceSummary.aspx:604

Great work Microsoft, more of my time wasted due to Microsoft Web Developers’ incompetence – I’m guessing I’ll have to use Internet Explorer.

3rd Dec 2014: Trying to Sell Microsoft Cloud Services

Today I decided to continue my ongoing battle with trying to become a Microsoft Cloud Services Reseller.  I’ve long since given up on trying yo logically navigation the Microsoft Parter website so I start of with a Google search for ‘buy microsoft exchange via partner‘, the top result is a webpage which says this:

Jump Start your cloud business

Well that’s exactly what I want I thought!  I click the sign-in option at the top of the page to make the page relevant to me and I got a completely blank page, I hit back and get the following turd:

Sorry an error occurred

I return to Google and try again – this time I am already logged in (so something worked!) and I hit the ‘Earn a competency’ option.  I’m then presented with these confusing options:

Competency Partners

All I wanted was a ‘Instructions for Earning a Competency’ page but instead I have Microsoft asking me if I’m ready (How do I know?) or asking me to join something (but I don’t know what).  I choose the later hoping its something like ‘Competency Program’.

MPN Sign In ENrollNext despite suffering through the painful process of signing in and clearly being told I’m signed in, I am asked to sign in – seriously?

I’m then asked to complete a form with all the information Microsoft already have from my MPN account, I complete the form and am told:

Thank you for joining the Microsoft Partner Network

What?  All I wanted to do was sign up to Office 365 or Exchange for some of my customers.  Microsoft told me I needed to earn a competency, I followed their prompts and now seem to have signed up to a second Partner account.  I truly don’t think they could make it more difficult to sell their cloud products if they tried.

It seems I’m not alone in my frustration, I posted a question on the partner support website and received a comment within 24 hours from another user – sysco_kid –  having the same issue:

Please help us! I too have spent days trying to find how to sell o365. I have spent so much time on this that I am already losing money on this client migration and I don’t think i will come out ahead at this point. Very frustrating….

13th Nov 2014

MSPartner Homepage Popular LinksToday I logged in to the portal and attempted to download some software (we have the Action Pack Subscription), I logged in and was taken to the page where I found a rather helpful ‘Popular Links’ section which contained a link saying “Download your software”, little did I know this would take me to the demonic woman grinning at me as she pronounced “Page Not Found”, laughing maniacally:

404 Page Not Found Error with Demonic Woman

Bob McKay

About Bob McKay

Bob is a Founder of Seguro Ltd, a full time father and husband, part-time tinkerer-with-wires, coder, Muay Thai practitioner, builder and cook. Big fan of equality, tolerance and co-existence.

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