Some Microsoft Gold partners are more than miffed that they won’t get their Windows 7 RTM code until after volume customers as well as hardware OEMs and ISVs.
According to the Windows Team Blog, Microsoft Golds have to wait till August 16 to download while ISVs can start August 6.
Worse, from a Gold perspective, is that volume licensees with Software Assurance can start downloading August 7.
“Looks to me that my customers will get this before I do,” said one irate east coast Gold VAR. His view is that undercuts his relationship with his customers–who he advises on IT issues.
Two weeks may seem like small potatoes to many, but Gold partners tend to have be sensitive on such matters. Many see Microsoft as tightening its grip on customer relationships at their expense.
And, for years the highest-tier Gold partners have complained that Microsoft has devalued their brand. Partly in response Microsoft is cutting the designation over the next two years and will instead implement a more specialized and harder to attain “Advanced” partner designation.