So why doesn't Nuxeo take the same approach for partners (or would-be/were partners)?
In the Nuxeo world, a partner that wants access to the Studio development tool is going to pay an order of magnitude more than a Microsoft or IBM partner fee. And Studio is but a single tool, where IBM and Microsoft offer vast libraries of software. While Nuxeo has a very different business model I don't think that changes the equation.
If Nuxeo's motivations include dramatically growing customer base, expanding the partner network, developing more geographically dispersed network, adding 3rd party products to the marketplace, and getting more external commits to the code base, then I think the answer is removing one of the *BIG* barriers to adoption ... partnership cost. Talking to other Nuxeo developers and partners confirms to me that this is one of the single biggest challenges for Nuxeo partners.
For independent developers and small development shops getting into the Nuxeo game already involves a significant learning curve. Add in a $12-$15k annual partnership cost and it's just enough for most to back off and take a path of lesser resistance.
On the other hand, remove, or substantively reduce the annual partnership cost and you remove a real obstacle to adoption. And in the long run, I believe this will drive partner growth, support revenue, 3rd party products, and result in an all-round better product and platform.