Microsoft has launched a new online store that sells its products directly to Australian end-users.
The online facility is part of the software giant’s global push to allow users to download and purchase its software without going through physical resellers or retailers.
It is being launched in partnership with Microsoft gold partner, arvato digital services, which selects product pricing. The company operates online Microsoft stores in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and the UK.
“We went out with a global tender. Arvato replied to that tender and was successful and have been rolling out the store across a number of markets over the last 12 to 18 months,” Microsoft Australia Windows consumer product marketing manager, Karl Miklis, said.
He claimed there was no net loss for physical retailers and that Microsoft remained committed to its current distributors and retailers.
“We know from our interaction with customers that people really value the ability to go and have a one-on-one engagement with sales people and experience the full range of services that retailers provide,” Miklis said. “The programs and pricing we’re doing on the [online] store are reflective of what you’ll see with our retail partners.”
Miklis said the vendor was investigating the idea of physically sending customers product backups on discs, but there were no official plans to do so and that all purchases would need to be downloaded.
Calvert Technologies sales manager, Daniel Calvert, saw the move as a positive that wouldn’t detract from his company’s business due to its retail-style focus.
“From our point of view in our SMB space, it’s probably not going to affect us too much. It might make people more aware of what Microsoft has and any exposure is good exposure,” he said. “It’s not like our clients are going to go buy 10 copies of Office at the retail scores, so they still have to do that type of thing through us.”
The new store can be found here and will offer Windows 7 for online purchase from October 22.