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Microsoft has turned down bids from two of the UK's largest distributors to be allowed to sell OEM software. Both CHS and Computer 2000 had applied to become MS OEM product distributors, but Microsoft has turned them down after smaller OEM distributors complained. Microsoft currently has five OEM distributors - Actebis, Datrontech, Enta, Ideal and Osmosis - who sell product to system builders. Both CHS and C2000 have to go through one of them if they want to source OEM product. Both of the large broad-line distributors, which already sell Microsoft end-user product, argued that dealers should be able to get all Microsoft product from just one distributor. "We choose our OEM distributors because of their expertise in the system builder market," said Microsoft OEM channel sales manager Des O'Carroll. "The bigger distributors are now getting into that area." But Carroll said that he was concerned that the larger distributors would not be able to increase sales to system builders and risked ending up taking existing sales from other distributors. CHS marketing director Peter Rigby said that the distributor wanted to expand its Microsoft OEM business but could not do that until it got authorization. "We are not putting large resources into selling Microsoft OEM product at the moment. To take it to the next level we need to make an investment, and we will only do that if we get authorisation," he said.

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