In what is being viewed as a decisive marketing strategy, Microsoft announced last week the availability of the Business Readiness Kit for Windows NT Workstation 4.0.
Freely available via the Web, the Kit is designed to provide businesses with the tools to evaluate NT Workstation 4.0 in their own computing environment, claimed Tony Wilkinson, Microsoft's Windows product marketing manager.
Wilkinson conceded that while it is not specifically designed for Australian resellers, the key to the Business Readiness Kit is to: "assist our channel partners in working with their customers to assess their needs and see how best the product can help them."
Ron Harris, managing director of Harris Technologies, described this latest Microsoft initiative as a possible opportunity for resellers.
"Microsoft are probably just seeding the market which, when considering Microsoft don't sell direct, will result in sales and up-grades filtering back through the channel," Harris said.
Although not knowing the details of the Business Readiness Kit, Harris feels that it is "a marketing initiative" and part of Microsoft's commitment to furthering product knowledge and awareness.
"We receive a lot of support from Microsoft and they are very good with conveying product information to resellers and end users alike.
"A lot of resellers don't do a great job in terms of customer consultancy regarding the benefits of products to their business, so this initiative is probably a good thing."
Patrick Burke, the director of Hardware Software Anywhere, echoed Harris' sentiments. He claimed: "people will still rely on resellers for the software, so I think it's a good way to get the information out there."
The Business Readiness Kit contains a 120-day trial copy of Windows NT Workstation 4.0, updates in Service Pack 4, over 1000 new and updated device drivers, and extensive documentation about the desktop operating system.
The free Kit can be downloaded via Microsoft's Web site: http://microsoft.com/australia/ntworkstation/