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Radical approach by Microsoft NZ opens up refurbished market

19 Dec 2014

Kiwi resellers are jumping on board a Microsoft initiative which enables them to get Windows OEM software at half price for refurbished computers.

The programme has been running since 2007, however it was given further impetus with Windows XP’s end of life early this year, and the imminent end of support for Windows 7.

Mainstream support for Windows 7 ends on January 13 next year.

Warwick Grey, Microsoft New Zealand partner account manager, distribution, says refurbishing offers resellers the chance to create market differentiation with refurbished machines with pre-installed software; providing a lower cost alternative for some customers – and doing it in a green manner.

“There are more older devices coming off lease now, and there’s the opportunity to get more life out of them by refurbishing them. “XP’s end of life has driven that, and we expect to see similar with Windows 7,” Grey says.

“We have recently ceased supply of Windows XP Home via the programme, but Windows 7 Pro is available and will be for some time, while Windows 8 has just been added, although not at the steeply discounted price of the Windows 7 option,” he adds.

Fifty-one local companies, including PB Technologies, Conbrio and Arche, are signed up as Microsoft registered refurbishers in New Zealand.

The programme allows companies that recycle used computers - and servers - to buy cheaper licenses to legally pre-install Microsoft software, before reselling the machines.

Brian Lawrence, Conbrio owner, says the programme ensures old computers can legally use recent and supported operating systems, and helps remove the digital divide by allowing low cost computing to be made available to those that may not be able to afford new computers.

Grey says the programme is available in two flavours, with registered refurbishers being small and midsized refurbishers, while authorised refurbishers are those averaging a minimum volume of 10,000 PCs refurbished annually.

Refurbishers must registered on the portal with Microsoft in order to gain access to the special prices for the software. “You can't just buy the SKUs from the distributors,” Grey notes.

“You can only buy the software at the discounted price once you become a registered refurbisher once you have completed the application process and been assigned a reseller number that must be entered when you activate the software.”

Ingram Micro and Synnex are the authorised New Zealand distributors for the Microsoft refurbisher SKU’s.

The programme was initially started as a green initiative and a means of cutting software piracy.

Microsoft cites United Nations University research showing an average 24kg desktop computer with monitor requires at least 10 times its weight in fossil fuels and chemicals to manufacture – much more material intensive than a car or refrigerator,  which only require 1-2 times their weight in fossil fuels.

Manufacturing one desktop computer and 17-inch CRT monitor uses at least 240kg of fossil fuels, 22kg of chemicals and 1500kg of water – a total of 1.8 tons of material.

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