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8 Microsoft Channel Cutbacks That Made Partners See Red

Microsoft says it invests $2 billion annually in the channel. But a trend of recent Microsoft channel cutbacks has partners concerned about where things are going.

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7. Retiring Small Business Specialist Community, Ditching Small Business Server

In November 2013, Microsoft also retired its Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC), a partner organization formed in 2005 to focus specifically on small businesses. That means partners can no longer take advantage of SBSC-specific enrollment, branding and benefits.

In its place, Microsoft created the Small Business competency in the Microsoft Partner Network. Microsoft also discontinued development of its Small Business Server product last July and began steering partners to Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

Microsoft says it's working on a partner-to-partner community for small business partners and will share details sometime this year, but it's fair to wonder if partner enthusiasm in this segment will ever return to its previous levels.

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