When Microsoft first unveiled its Surface device, some industry watchers saw it as a daring change of course. So what if Microsoft's OEM partners wouldn't like it, the thinking went. Surface tablets showed that Microsoft was sick of standing around while Apple ran roughshod over the mobile device market.
Well, in the end, it was Microsoft's channel partners that ended up being most frustrated. As is well known by now, Microsoft is not letting the vast majority of its partners sell Surface. Surely Microsoft has its reasons for not leveraging the marketing muscle of its huge channel, but those reasons remain unclear.
Which is there was a fair amount of schadenfreude in the Microsoft channel when Microsoft revealed a $900 million charge in July for unsold Surface inventory.