Microsoft is urging resellers to get up close and personal with Windows 8, with roadshows and reseller summits kicking off this month.
Microsoft is running three ‘reseller summits’, in Auckland Wellington and Christchurch, from 1pm to 4pm on November 21, 13 and 23 respectively, while Ingram Micro will handle the regional centres with a roadshow kicking off November 05.
Both the summits and roadshow will provide an overview not just of Windows 8, but also of Windows Phone, the New Office and Office 365 and Windows Server 2012.
Warwick Grey, Microsoft partner account manager, distribution, says Windows 8 is ‘a game changing launch for Microsoft’ and resellers need to get hands on with the product in order to fully understand how to sell it.
Grey says while much has been said about the new start screen featuring a mosaic of live tiles – and the demise after 17 years of the Start button – "that’s not what it’s really about."
He says resellers need to look at the software’s many other features, including faster boot-up and a trusted boot function, rather than just the touch aspect. “There are lots of other benefits to Windows 8 that, unfortunately, aren’t regarded as being as sexy, so all the focus has been on the touch enablement. But we need to be sticking to our knitting.
“I’d really resellers to get along to one of the launch events and get hands on with the environment so they can understand it.”
While Microsoft is launching its own Surface tablet, no New Zealand dates have been set for the launch and Grey says "we’re not trying to be a threat to [other tablet makers]. We’re not saying turn off the iPad immediately. But we have an end to end story and it’s a business story."
Grey says Windows 8 provides a chance for resellers to open new conversations with customers, particularly those who remain on the 14-year-old Windows XP, support for which will end in 2014.
“The sales opportunities for partners have never been greater but they do have to look at the future. Our role as a vendor is to position the market for the future.
“This is just the beginning of the story."
Ingram Micro’s regional roadshow starts in New Plymouth on November 5 before moving to Palmerston North, Napier, Tauranga, Nelson, Hamilton, Whangarei and Dunedin.