Microsoft's Delivery Service Providers (DSPs) face a nervous few weeks after it emerged that Computer 2000 and CHS Electronics are aiming to be partners when contracts are renewed next month.
The DSP contracts form a crucial platform which existing partners - Datrontech, Enta, Ideal Hardware, Osmosis and Actebis - use to maximise sales to OEM systems builders and integrators.
C2000 and CHS had their DSP applications rejected last year (PC Dealer, 8 April 1998), but both broadliners claimed that they had more to offer this year.
Andy Gass, deputy managing director at C2000, said: 'Our components division has made great progress over the past year and the acquisition of Eurodis Onboard is another tangible asset. It would be a very natural fit with our portfolio of products.'
Peter Rigby, director of marketing and communications at CHS, said: 'We will receive a set of criteria from Microsoft that we have to achieve, but we are more focused on the Microsoft franchise in general and have greater expertise in components. We reach a very wide customer base and are dealing with Microsoft's OEM customers already.'
Fiona Squire, business manager at Datrontech, said: 'You'd like to think Microsoft will trim the numbers down, but broadliners could not bring any value to this space.'
But one source, who declined to be named, claimed it was 'almost certain' that Computer 2000 would be appointed as a DSP.
James Wickes, managing director of Ideal Hardware, said: 'There isn't much margin in Microsoft but it is a great product to have.'
Steve Mann, director of OEM business at Microsoft, said existing contracts will expire at the end of May and were being examined, but refused to say whether more DSPs would be appointed.
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