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Microsoft picks four distributors following software review

United Kingdom: Microsoft has appointed four distributors to handle local software distribution after completing a review process. According to multiple sources, four of the previous five distributors – Exertis, Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Westcoast – have been successful, with Entatech, which went out of business last month, dropping out. Microsoft asked the five incumbent distributors to rebid for the business in March, with potential new suitors VIP and Centerprises' distributor brand Ci Distribution understood to have been invited to bid.

Exertis and Westcoast both confirmed that they have been successful in three of the four segments available, while Tech Data and Ingram Micro could not be reached for comment. A large chunk of the software that Microsoft puts through distribution was up for grabs, broken into four categories: full packaged products (FPP); OEM Windows; OEM Server; and electronic software delivery (ESD) products. Mark Reynolds, commercial director at Exertis, said the distributor had been awarded all three of the segments it had bid for – retaining FFP and OEM Server while adding OEM Windows to its portfolio. "Microsoft are one of our biggest partners and we're always going to go for everything we can get in these tenders", he said. "We're delighted to have retained [what we already had], and also add on an extra exhibit as well, which is the Windows OEM piece. We're thrilled to continue in the same vein, and gain some extra business as well."

Westcoast managing director Alex Tatham said Westcoast has successfully retained its place across FPP, OEM Server, and ESD, having bid for all four segments. "Westcoast are utterly delighted to be successful and to be Microsoft's largest distributor in the UK", he said (source: Channelweb United Kingdom).