Microsoft recently announced new plans for market expansion of its Surface family of PCs, which include further involvement from channel partners. Additionally, the company unveiled AppsForSurface, a new application development program from ISVs that want to design and/or release applications for the Surface product line.
To help the Surface business grow in a phased, ongoing fashion, Microsoft has developed the Microsoft Devices Program, which was designed to help customers purchase Surface and commercial services through authorized resellers.
As part of the two-tier program, Ingram Micro Inc., SYNNEX Corp. and Tech Data Corp. now are device-authorized distributors, and will sell Surface to a designated group of device-authorized commercial resellers. Current 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.
VARs participating in the program will offer customers a variety of added services and benefits, including: an extended warranty, accidental damage coverage, asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection. Microsoft also plans to expand an offer for Surface RT devices to commercial channel players. Initially, Authorized Surface Resellers in the U.S. will be able to purchase the devices for $199, which will increase incentive for carrying and selling the devices.
Microsoft will continue to authorize distributors and resellers worldwide in the coming months, according to a company press release.
ISVs currently participating in the AppsForSurface program include Airstrip, Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Sage. The program was created to provide devices and funding for Surface-specific business applications.