I realize you folks over in Redmond have got a big day planned for the 30th but perhaps you could take a minute and explain what is up with the screwing you are giving to your Action Pack members?
For those of you who may not know what this is, it is a program that Microsoft initiated in its reseller pipeline to supposedly help the resellers of its software.
Sell More with the Microsoft Action Pack.
The Microsoft Action Pack is available exclusively through the Microsoft Partner Program. It can be the start of an ongoing relationship with Microsoft that becomes even more valuable over time.
The Action Pack subscription includes a Welcome Kit and four quarterly updates. You get new Microsoft software for your business use, access to special partner training materials, and sales and marketing tools to grow your business.
In all practicality this is a really good program according to a friend of mine in Iowa who has a computer shop in a small town where he does a lot of business that involves Microsoft products. To him the $299.00 yearly subscription was well worth it.
Or rather it was until the newest roll out of the subscription updates that included Vista and Office 2007; because unannounced Microsoft decided it was time to screw the AP members. Right now the pain being felt is within the Action Pack member community but it wouldn’t be long before the effects being felt by them will make its way to the consumer. Maybe not the consumers in large metro areas but most definitely in smaller towns and rural areas.
The reason for this is that part of the new unannounced changes is that AP members are being forced to upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 as part of the subscription. Additionally the version of Vista that comes with the AP package is the business version; which in the words of my friend “is next to useless”. As he told me the large majority of customers in his area will be more interested in the Home and Ultimate versions.
So why does this matter?, because of the new licensing AP members cannot downgrade to XP or previous version of Office. This means that if they want to demo any versions; other than the business one, of Vista AP members are going to have to buy it themselves. Like my friend told me in IRC last night:
[0:40:2] <Dan> basically for me to be compliant, im going to have to grab some oem stickers off the shelf and loose a few hundred dollars of inventory
Now Dan is just a small shop owner doing a hell of a great job for his customers; but having to eat that kind of cost just so Microsoft can sell a few more copies of Vista is hurtful to his bottom line; which being a small shop is narrow enough as it is.
Now a subscription that was intended to help him market Microsoft products is costing him close to 500.00 to 600.00 USD instead of the 299.00. That is a hellva way to treat your frontline sales people Microsoft.
- They Took ‘R Action Pack Rights – Vladville
- Do I have Downgrade Rights for my software that comes in Action Pack? – MS Small Business Community Blog
- Microsoft Action Pack – Too much? Too little? – MS Small Business Community Blog
- Dear Mr. Ballmer – I’d like to ask you to understand… – The SBS Diva Blog
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