Dealers have reacted furiously to revelations about Microsoft?s Office 97 pricing policy (PC Dealer, 15 January).
The channel has turned on the company, accusing it of giving unfair advantage to direct selling vendors after Gateway boasted it could sell Office 97 upgrades for as little as #20.
Vendors such as Dell and Gateway have OEM deals with Microsoft to buy at lower price points. Harry Thuillier, chairman of Fraser Associates, said: ?This is unfair. I cannot understand why Microsoft allows this sort of thing to go on.?
His feelings were echoed by Martin Hellawell, general manager of corporate development at Computacenter. ?This is becoming a real problem for the whole channel ? we?re very upset and annoyed,? he said.
Asked if he felt Microsoft was being unfair, Jonathan Hulse, Microsoft product manager, refused to comment. ?OEM contracts are not open for discussion,? he said. ?I can?t see why anyone should have a problem.?
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