Microsoft gives resellers the bum steer

Confusion reins supreme in the channel over Microsoft's decision to restructure its channel service programs.

From April 1, all Microsoft sales partners will be automatically switched to the new Direct Access support program, and a new phone number will be introduced.

The software giant also has a premium program, Solution Provider, for channel partners who sell, support and provide services for Microsoft products.

Direct Access is the broader program for resellers not in the Solution Provider program. However, the managing director of development tools reseller Microway, David Looke, expressed his discontent for Direct Access when contacted by ARN last week.

Looke was angered about being charged for accessing information through Direct Access. He believed resellers would be charged for pre-sales service, where under the previous system it was free.

"At a time when software is becoming more complex . . . Microsoft should be increasing their support to resellers, not reducing it," Looke said.