Now Microsoft 'calls' on the channel

DQC Bureau
New Update

New Delhi

May 14th, 2007


Channel partners engaged in reselling Microsoft products say that they are

getting strange calls from Microsoft's legal department to push product sales.

These calls, they claim are more than suggestive in nature and ask partners to

start buying Microsoft products or else face action from the company.

Said one channel partner from New Delhi, "I got a call from a lady in

Delhi who claimed to belong to the legal department of Microsoft. She said that

my name was with her since I did a lot of OEM software business earlier. I have

off late not been buying from the distributors. She suggested that I should buy

some quantity of software from the distributors this month to avoid any action

against me. I declined and said I would not buy products that I do not


Interestingly this particular partner in Delhi is already focusing on
increasingly selling Microsoft products. "Today, we are selling a lot of

Microsoft products and I felt bad about the call. Microsoft needs to look into

the advantages and disadvantages of having such a strategy. They also need to do

some market research and make sure that they do not target people who give them

good business," he added on condition of anonymity.

When contacted, Microsoft categorically denied any such practice. According

to Hitendra Chaturvedi, senior director, Microsoft India, "We are surprised

to hear about it and would like to assure all our partners and customers that

Microsoft respects their purchase decision. Further, Microsoft has well-defined

policies that govern our engagement with partners and customers. We will take

this up internally and conduct a thorough review to determine if there is a

problem and how best to correct it. We value the relationship we have with our

partners and are committed to providing customers with best-of-breed original

software products."


Interestingly the revelation from the channel community comes at a time when

Microsoft is engaged in a bigger anti-piracy campaign that is seen as disturbing

for the channel. "I have been successfully selling Microsoft products and

have great respect for the company. However, recently the company has begun to

malign its own reputation by involving in such activities. Even though I have

not received any such call so far I would not be surprised if I do receive

it," explains a big software focused player from Chandigarh.

Another software-focused partner from Dehradun says that he has received

calls about increasing the business opportunity for the global major. "I

have got calls from the company asking me to increase business opportunity for

Microsoft. On one hand the company says that it is supporting channel community

by encouraging genuine software usage, while on the other it engages itself in

such activities. The company should concentrate on making sure that proper

service and education level is increased in places like Dehradun, where there

are other issues of concern," he feels.