Stories by Alex Lash

  • Let's shop at Microsoft

    Dell did it. Compaq had trouble doing it. Now Microsoft, in a small but significant step, is doing it - selling its wares direct over the Web and bypassing the resellers. Online store Shop.Microsoft.com sells popular products such as Office, Windows 98, games and hardware peripherals. It's by no means a major push into direct software retailing and represents a negligible portion of Microsoft's sales. But it marks a divergence from the company's previous policy of nurturing channel partners whenever possible.

  • Why Microsoft hates AOL

    Is it a war of products or a war of words? Microsoft's Internet strategy increasingly consists of jabs at America Online (AOL), the online service king that Microsoft has never been able to topple.

  • Yahoo closes GeoCities merger, beats the bubble

    Portal leader Yahoo completed its $US4 billion acquisition of community site GeoCities on Friday, absorbing more than 4 million Web homesteaders but jettisoning about two-thirds of the GeoCities staff.

  • Microsoft reorganises, but will it settle?

    After weeks of speculation, Microsoft on Monday unveiled its new organisational structure, the first major initiative of Bill Gates' right-hand man Steve Ballmer in his new role as company president.

  • Microsoft has a date for Windows 2000

    Windows 2000 won't easily shed the "often-delayed" tag, but Microsoft's promises to release it before the new millennium seem to be on track. In an internal e-mail to development staff, Windows 2000 leaders last week congratulated the team for meeting a key milestone of the third and final beta, and set a goal for shipping the final version: October 6.

  • Microsoft's online shop raises reseller concerns

    With little fanfare, Microsoft has opened an online retail store to sell its own software, hardware and how- to books. The low-key approach makes sense: the site raises serious questions about how to sell direct over the Web without misleading customers and alienating resellers. Theoretically, the four resellers working with Microsoft on the site - CDW, CompUSA, Insight and Beyond.com - will get lots of new customers. But it may not work out that way. After shoppers endure a long ordering process on the site, they come to a page that gives them five choices of where to buy - the four resellers and Microsoft itself. Each gets a similar-size logo.

  • Same old Microsoft

    With little fanfare, Microsoft has opened an online retail store to sell its own software, hardware and how-to books. The low-key approach makes sense: the site raises serious questions about how to sell direct over the Web without misleading customers and alienating resellers.