'Nervous' Microsoft dodges EMEA channel event

Microsoft has ducked out of attendance at channel analysts Canalys’ major EMEA conference, with the vendor apparently “nervous” about rubbing shoulders with its partners.

Speaking at the annual Canalys forum, ChannelBiz UK reported CEO Steve Brazier had highlighted Microsoft’s conspicuous absence in his keynote presentation:  “Microsoft isn’t here, we have done everything we can to get them here,” he said, adding that “for some reason, they are nervous [about] participating at a cross industry event”

With Microsoft making inroads into the tablet market with Surface, the software firm has caused some waves in the channel, with recent rumours of a move into smartphone development likely to further annoy its partners.  Brazier said that the Windows-maker had “upset” its partners by releasing its own device.

HP also spoke at the event, highlighting its plans to invest in further growth in the EMEA region, and announcing the launch of a number of mobile PC products in October, including tablet/laptop hybrid devices.

Canalys claims the outlook for the channel is relatively strong, with Apple helping to boost revenues through a tough 2012 market in Europe.  However, although the top vendors grew their profits by 10 percent as a group, the wider market is still awaiting a return to solid growth in the channel, with Q2 the worst quarter since the 2008 crash.

Juniper, also present at the forum, told ChannelBiz UK that it had enjoyed a strong year in the region despite the overriding concerns around the economy. Keep an eye out on ChannelBiz UK as there is more to follow.