Compaq resellers are being left in the lurch as small business customers' requests for a server are fulfilled without their preferred operating system.
The hardware vendor's ProLiant 400 server, touted as its sub-£1,000 machine, is not bundled with Microsoft BackOffice Small Business Server and does not provide the drivers for loading the software independently. Instead, Compaq is making the operating system available on the more expensive Prosignia 200 server and has a 'special offer' small business bundle at £2,400 until 30 June.
In the official documentation on the ProLiant series, only drivers for NT Server, Novell Netware and Netware for Small Business are listed as provided with the hardware.
One reseller commented: 'If Compaq and Microsoft are such good friends, why has Compaq launched a server targeted at SMEs on which Microsoft's server operating system for the SME is not supported? This has caused considerable egg on the face for a Var I subcontract to, and will undoubtedly cause trouble for others in the future.'
Another reseller said: 'As far as I can see, the problem with the 400 is that the chipset used for the SCSI controller isn't supported by the software. No floppy is supplied, therefore the system is unusable.'
Compaq declined to comment.
Compaq has dumped the majority of its PC and server distributors in the US in a radical bid to keep track of its inventory.
Under its Distributor Alliance Programme, the vendor has culled its 40-strong distribution channel for build-to-order PCs and servers down to three distributors: Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Merisel. Reseller Inacom has also been invited to join the alliance. Its co-location partner Compucom will also continue to provide channel assembly for the vendor.
PC Dealer reported six weeks ago that Compaq UK management admitted its products were over-distributed and was considering cutting some partners (31 March).
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany