Microsoft today announced the initial phase of its business-channel expansion plans for the Surface family of PCs, along with AppsForSurface - a new Surface application-development program for independent software vendors (ISVs).
Microsoft announced the Microsoft Devices Program, which allows the compay's customers to purchase Surface and commercial services through authorized resellers. The two-tier program establishes Ingram Micro, SYNNEX. and Tech Data as inaugural device-authorized distributors to sell Surface to a newly designated group of device-authorized commercial resellers. Today, these resellers include CDW, CompuCom Systems Inc., En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises Inc., PC Connection Inc., PCM Inc., SHI International Corp., Softchoice, Softmart and Zones Inc. In addition to offering Microsoft's extended warranty and accidental damage, resellers bring a variety of services to the Surface family such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling, and data protection. During the next few months, Microsoft will work to authorize commercial distributors and resellers in more countries.
Microsoft will also offer a 256GB Surface Pro model in the U.S. through its new commercial reseller program. The new version, which will be available in limited quantities according to Microsoft, is already listed online
at CDW for $1,200.
AppsForSurface, a new ISV program that provides devices and funding for Surface-specific business applications, addresses the demand for Surface enterprise applications. Current program participants include Airstrip, Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Sage.
In June, Microsoft announced a one-time offer for Surface RT starting at $199 for qualifying educational institutes running until the end of August in 26 countries, valid for all K-12 schools and universities purchasing direct from Microsoft. In the coming days, Microsoft will expand this offer into the commercial channel starting with Authorized Surface Resellers in the United States.