Lenovo declines Microsoft's offer to sell the Surface Pro

An offer it could refuse

Even though their new joint ad campaign is quite amicable, Microsoft and Lenovo aren't exactly bosom buddies.

When Microsoft asked Lenovo in September to sell its Surface Pro products, Lenovo declined the company's offer, Lenovo COO Gianfranco Lanci told a group of reporters at the Canalys Channels Forum. Unlike Dell and HP, both of which chose to be Microsoft Surface Pro resellers, Lenovo views the hybrid laptop as direct competition to its own devices.

Lanci also admitted to being "a little bit careful" about how Lenovo conducts business with Microsoft due to the companies' conflicts of interest. This makes sense given the similarities Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 and Lenovo's IdeaPad Miix 700. Unfortunately for Lenovo, Microsoft just unveiled the clearly superior Surface Pro 4.

A chilly month

It isn't just the Surface Pro that has Microsoft in conflict with its partners. The company's foray into notebook manufacturing did not sit well with OEMs.

Dell, which sells the Surface Pro, will not be selling the Surface Book, Dell President of Enterprise Solutions Marius Haas told The Register. In the same report, HP, which will sell the laptop, echoed Haas' sentiments.

Despite the tension, all four companies (and Intel) worked together to create the "PC does what" campaign, which is designed to highlight the new capabilities of modern laptops in an attempt to boost sales for a sluggish market that declined more than 10% this quarter, according to IDC.

Whether or not the campaign compels consumers to purchase new notebooks is a moot point. However, analysts at IDC and Gartner Research believe the PC market should see a minor rebound in the final months of 2015 due in part to the sale of new Windows 10 devices with new Intel Skylake processors.

It also doesn't hurt that these new devices will hit the market just as the holiday shopping season begins to ramp up.