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:
The 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’:
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.
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.
Uncaught TypeError: undefined is not a function: ReferenceSummary.aspx:614
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:
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:
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:
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’.
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
Today 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 http://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/wi/Pages/index.aspx 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: