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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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1. The Surface Channel Snub(s)

By this point, all Microsoft partners know what went down. First, Microsoft unveiled a cool new tablet-notebook hybrid called Surface that marked the software giant's entry to PC hardware. Then Microsoft touted Surface as a device that would unite work and play like no other tablet on the market.

Microsoft partners thought this sounded great but were shocked when Microsoft revealed its intention to only sell Surfaces through retail. Later, after dismal sales figures began trickling in, Microsoft decided to open Surface sales to the channel. Whoops! Not really. Actually, Microsoft only extended this privilege to a handful of large account resellers.

Microsoft last month extended feelers to a wider range of partners to gauge their interest in selling Surface. But at this point, after all the channel snubs, it's debatable whether partners are still interested.

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