Channel players appeared unperturbed by Tesco’s further push into the IT market after the supermarket giant launched its own-branded software for less than £20 a title last week.
Tesco has selected Formjet – a company that acquires territorial rights to ‘alternative’ software products and then markets, distributes and supports these products on behalf of the vendor in the UK – to initially provide it with six software titles. There will be two security/anti-virus products, a personal finance tool, a complete office suite, a CD/DVD burning tool and a photo editing tool. Formjet will also provide software support.
The move follows the news in the summer that Tesco would begin selling Acer Travelmate, Samsung X11, Iqon’s family PC package and Gateway GM5024B computers, as well as printers and flat-screen monitors as separates. VARs dismissed talk of this being a potential threat (CRN, 5 June).
Graham Jones, chief operating officer at VAR Integralis, said: “This latest move will have more of an impact on the PC World-type businesses out there. I will be interested to see who actually buys the Tesco software – we sell security software to corporates and I can’t see corporates buying their software from Tesco.”
Hamish Thompson, director of media relations at DSG, parent company of PC World, said: “PC World has had its own-brand software for years. In all the time that Tesco has been in the [IT] market we’ve gained market share across all the DSG companies, so Tesco is not taking market share from us.”
A Microsoft representative told CRN: “Microsoft welcomes competition in all of its markets because it drives innovation and keeps prices competitive, both of which benefit our customers and our reseller channel.”
Tesco software will be available in more than 100 stores from this month, with plans to roll out the products across the rest of the UK over the next 12 months.
A Tesco representative told CRN: “We will monitor the performance of the six titles and gauge customer reaction. Perhaps then we will bring out more titles.”
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