What's the business case for VARs?
The huge number of companies that skipped Vista and stayed with Windows XP translates into massive pent-up demand for Windows 7. This would seem to represent a lucrative opportunity for Microsoft channel partners that have experience in handling OS migrations. So why aren't VARs jumping up and down with excitement over the coming Windows 7 services flood?
Certainly, the Vista hangover is part of it. Partners had high hopes that Vista would lead to lucrative services opportunities, but for many VARs, these opportunities never materialised. "Vista definitely fell way short of what we had expected to deliver in terms of associated services," said one source.
However, the bigger issue for VARs that don't sell PCs, and whose customers will move to Windows 7 through volume licensing agreements, is how much money the channel actually stands to make from Windows 7. Aside from Windows 7 readiness and total cost of ownership assessments, it's unclear at this point how much of a services bonanza the channel will actually reap.
That hasn't stopped Microsoft from trying to pump up the hype around Windows 7 services. In a recent Microsoft-sponsored study by IDC, the research firm predicts that for every dollar of revenue that Microsoft gets from US sales of Windows 7 until the end of 2010, partners will reap US$18.51 in related products and services revenue. IDC also predicts that by the end of 2010, more than 2 million IT jobs will be related to Windows 7, representing one-fifth of IT jobs in the US.
If that sounds familiar, it should: IDC put out a very similar Microsoft-sponsored report that coincided with the Vista launch. And everyone knows how that turned out.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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