Yesterday I suggested that the new Microsoft Store won't be a big concern for VARs, who tend to be less concerned about commodity software margins than the actual value-add they provide. Distributors on the other hand, may have different concerns.
An article on Channel Web noted that distributors, and some of the big office supply and big box retailers may be taking a hit. The microsoft Store lets customers buy Microsoft software, and have a choice between receiving a physical copy or receive a download via Electronic Software Distribution (ESD).
There is a convenience factor there, even though some discount retailers will offer the Microsoft software at lower prices than can be found on the Microsoft store. I'm looking out my window right now at eight inches of snow, and if I were in need of a copy of Microsoft Office right now, I'd opt for avoiding the office supply store whenever possible. This may well be a step towards creating a more direct sales model for Microsoft.