The vendors new channel chief Jon Roskill made the announcement at the worldwide partner conference providing resellers an idea of their role following yesterday's moves to ramp up its cloud business.
"The opportunity in the cloud is tremendous, and it's an opportunity we want to continue to pursue hand-in-hand with our partners," he said.
Resellers will have until October to get signed up for either the more widely available Cloud Essentials Pack, which is a subscription service resellers can sell, or to skill up and meet the requirements to be on the Cloud Accelerate programme.
Speaking to MicroScope, Clare Barclay, director of partner strategy and programmes at Microsoft, said that it would want to see customer references, a business plan and a track record in cloud.
"It will self regulate and we will help partners get customer references," she added that it was keeping an open mind on the number of resellers it expected to join the scheme.
The cloud is turning out to be the theme of this year's WPC as Microsoft sets out its vision for the future. Yesterday CEO Steve Ballmer used his keynote to talk about the technology and today has seen that continue with the specifics of the channel programmes.