Oxford reseller Leading Edge Computers is engaged in a legal dispute with Microsoft, understood to centre on issues surrounding its coveted Microsoft Large Account Reseller (Lar) status.
It is understood that the reseller no longer fulfils the strict criteria necessary to obtain Lar status. A statement from the vendor said: 'Microsoft prefers not to comment on disputes, but where the terms of a contract are not met, Microsoft has the right to take action.'
Paul Brenchley, managing director of Leading Edge, confirmed there was a dispute between Leading Edge and Microsoft but was not prepared to comment further on the issue. He said he expected the issue to be resolved by mid-February.
One source at a rival Lar said: 'We understand Leading Edge has had its Lar status revoked. It's a surprise because it has always been a big hitter.' Several other sources also believed the licence was under temporary suspension.
The source added that many resellers had been suffering as the vendor pushed up requirements for Lar status as a result of increased licensing and billing demands. Over the past few months, Microsoft has increased the number of in-house certified professional staff needed to gain accreditation.
From January, certified system providers were required to bring the number of in-house certified system engineers to six from four, and the requirement will increase to eight from the middle of this year.
Additional demands introduced earlier this year include a volume sales target for Lars to sell into the Microsoft Open Licence Programme (Molp). Many Lars were facing problems billing customers as a result.
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