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Microsoft Online Store Opens in U.S.

It probably won't affect the channel except at the very low end, and even there partners who are trying to make money strictly by reselling software are probably going broke, anyway. But the opening of Microsoft's online store in the U.S. might still make a few partners queasy.

Sure, the prices are high, and there's no threat to the services element that brings in most of partners' revenues, anyway, but Microsoft going into the direct-sales business in the U.S. -- it had already opened stores in Europe -- just might not set right with partners who are already concerned about Redmond's not-necessarily-channel-friendly cloud computing strategy.

There's always that nagging question: If Microsoft is willing to cannibalize retailers' business, when and how might it turn on the rest of the channel? Hey, we know that Microsoft still makes the overwhelming majority of its revenue through partners and has probably the best channel program in the business. Microsoft still seems committed to keeping partners happy, so there's no panic here. There's not even much suspicion. But there are tiny, lingering questions that weren't there so much a few years ago. That's all we're saying.

Posted by Lee Pender on November 19, 2008


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