Microsoft has insisted the right channel model is in place for its Surface tablet and that resellers can meet its direct price.
Last month it came to light that some of the nine Authorised Reseller Partners were selling the RT tablet for more than Microsoft was offering it for via its online store.
Some of the nine approved Surface resellers – Misco, CCS Media, Softcat, Phoenix Software, Insight, Kelway, SCC, Computacenter and SoftwareONE – were offering both the 32GB and 64GB RT tablets at between eight and 11 per cent higher than the price quoted on the Microsoft online store.
Speaking to CRN, Microsoft's UK director for devices in small and medium enterprises Peter King said that while he cannot comment on negotiations between Surface distributors – Tech Data and Ingram Micro – and the resellers, he is sure the pricing model is competitive.
"I can give you confidence that the way we've built the commercial model is in line with ensuring the right margin is in place so partners can meet the Microsoft store price," he said.
"The only pricing we release is to commercial distribution partners... we build that framework so there is the right amount of margin – both on a product when they purchase it and also based on the number of units they sell. That has to be sustainable whether they're selling the device by itself or the device with incremental services."
King added that he expects the channel to sell a variety of services to customers as well as just the device. He claimed asset management, custom imaging and app development are just some of the extras the channel can sell around the Surface tablets, as well as including the device in larger infrastructure projects.
"You're always going to make more if you sell the devices with incremental services because likely those are your [services] and as a partner you control what those services are," he said.
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