It has been a rough week for Microsoft and the advice for Steve B is really starting to flow now. Technology blogger Andrew Brust has a pretty good list, and I really like this point:
7. Set Up a Partner Platform for Custom Installers
There’s a whole sub-industry of companies that install, integrate and configure home theater, security and connected home products. They have an industry group. They are influential in the high-end of the consumer electronics industry, and so are their customers. They love Media Center and they love Windows Home Server. But I have talked to several of them at the Consumer Electronics Show and they tell me you don’t love them. They find it very difficult to do business with Microsoft, even though they want nothing more than to sell and evangelize your platform. This is a travesty. Please fix it. Get Allison Watson and the Microsoft Partner Network on board and have her hire someone who knows how to run a channel program for consumer electronics companies. Problem solved. Markets expanded.
We have done a fair amount of work in both the traditional channel ecosystem (VAR, SP, ISV), and the consumer electronics ecosystem. One would think they are the same thing or at least closely related, but in fact there are significant differences.
Andrew is right. If Microsoft were to make a serious run at building a CE channel it would be quite a strategic asset.