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Nitrio, Walsh and Sorenson all said the inability to sell the tablets has not taken a toll on their respective company's sales. The source of their frustration revolved more around Microsoft's decision to shuffle around the channel, seemingly displaying a lack of transparency and distrust.
Microsoft's decision to forgo channel partners may have long-term consequences, especially if disgruntled partners can do something about it.
"It's the relationship that the partners care about. It's all in the customer relationship and having the opportunity to be involved in the decision making. As Microsoft goes direct, it puts partners one step further from the customer," Heartland's Sorenson said. "The channel has served them well all these years, and it seems a little bit out of character to take this piece of business and go a totally different direction. This was poor judgment I think."
"At some point Microsoft will need the partner base again because they will need us to help them promote something, and when they come back to the partner base, the reaction is going to be far more muted than it would have been in the past because of how they are treating us now," Nitrio said.
The discount for Surface tablets with RT for education will continue through Aug. 31 and can be accessed by educators in 25 countries according to Microsoft Corp.'s Salcito on the blog post.