The Channel logo

News

By | Paul Kunert 27th September 2011 10:30

Microsoft mulls OEM distie shake-up

Redmond pushes firms out on beauty parade

Microsoft has pushed its OEM software franchise out to tender among new and existing distributors amid a consumer market meltdown.

The global process usually takes place every year but in recent times has typically resulted in little change, with a total of eight wholesalers carrying the OEM line-up in the UK.

However, with households' discretionary spending under pressure and retailers reporting a slump in sales, distributors are fighting over a shrinking consumer market and will be urging Microsoft to consolidate its ranks.

A spokeswoman at Microsoft told El Reg that distributors have been informed of the OEM review and a Request For Proposal (RFP) had been sent out.

No decisions have yet been made about how this will impact the channel. This means channel heads will pore over distributors' sales data and their breadth of reseller accounts to determine whether Microsoft will swing the axe, and distributors will need to jump through hoops to stay onboard.

"The RFP process is designed to help Microsoft make the decision about whether it keeps the same number of OEMs in the UK, reduces or increases this number," Microsoft added.

UK disties include Ingram Micro, Computer 2000, Westcoast and Avnet – all of which also hold the wider volume and OEM software portfolio.

OEM-only UK disties include VIP, Northamber, Enta Technologies and Micro P – though the latter two also hold rights to sell the Office retail SKU.

Jon Atherton, group vice president at long-standing Microsoft distie Enta Technologies, urged the software giant to reduce the OEM wholesale channel to better reflect the "shrinking" market.

"I don't see the benefit to Microsoft of dealing with all these distributors, it costs money to manage accounts," he told El Reg. ®

comment icon Read 2 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Privacy image

Frank Jennings

Two working parties, ministers galore... but data transfer law remains in limbo
EMC_Unity_bezel

Chris Evans

It does simplify the hardware setup, whatever it is
A microscopic view of the biometric shark skin. Pic: James Weaver

Chris Mellor

Do something and stop faffing about in the bush league

Kat Hall

International system in general needs greater transparency

Features

Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world
hacker
Mostly it's financial crime. Here's what all the cool kids' terms mean in English
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson
Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers