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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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4. Holding Back Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2 RTM

Microsoft angered developers and irritated partners in August by not giving them access to the release to manufacturing versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, as it had done previously. After a backlash, Microsoft changed its mind, but partners were still bewildered by the move.

This wasn't a channel cutback per se, as partners interpreted it as part of Microsoft's attempt to be more secretive about its product plans. Still, it was the sort of move that had partners wondering if Microsoft cares more about being like Apple than it does about disrupting their businesses.

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