Dell Software Promo Rankles Microsoft Partners

Dell is quietly selling Microsoft Open License software at cost as part of a three-week promotion that runs until the end of July, CMP Channel has learned. In an email viewed by CMP Channel, Dell approaches customers directly and extends the offer to products such as SQL, Exchange, Office 2007, Windows Vista, Windows Server Standard, Small Business Server, Client Access Licenses, Project, and SharePoint. However, Microsoft isn't aware of any Dell promotions that offer Open License software at cost, according to a company spokesperson. Dell did not return emails and phone calls seeking comment.

Customers typically buy licenses for Microsoft software through a volume license agreement, which can be an Open License, Select Agreement, or Enterprise Agreement. While partners can buy Open License agreements from distributors and sell them to customers, customers can only buy Select and Enterprise Agreements only directly from Microsoft's large account resellers (LARs), one of which is Dell. What's puzzling about the promotion is that it's not listed on Dell's website and doesn't appear in Google search results, said a solution provider who partners with both vendors. "It seems to me as though Dell is quietly soliciting their customer base and trying to capture the business, without attracting much attention in the process," said the source.

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News source: CRN

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