Microsoft announced the initial phase of its business-channel expansion plans for its Surface family of PCs. It also revealed AppsForSurface, an application development program pertaining to Surface devices for independent software vendors (ISVs). The expansion plan is called the Microsoft Devices Program and it allows the customers to experience and purchase Surface and other commercial products via authorized resellers.
Diane Golshan from Microsoft US Partner team said in an official blog post:
I am very excited to announce that today marks the launch of our Microsoft Devices Program. This two-tier program establishes Ingram Micro, Inc., SYNNEX Corporation, and Tech Data Corporation as our 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., Softchoice, Softmart, SHI International Corp., and Zones Inc. Our distributors and resellers are fully engaged and ready to deliver compelling solutions with Microsoft devices, including Surface, to their respective commercial customers.
The program will allow resellers to offer Microsoft’s extended warranty and accidental damage, other than bringing the value-added services to the Surface family including asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, on-site service and support, device recycling and data protection. The program will expand the reach of the Microsoft’s devices-and-services strategy and will bring its devices with cloud services to more organizations.
AppsForSurface is a new ISV program which provides devices and funding for developing Surface-centric business and enterprise applications. Current program participants include Airstrip, Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Sage. Last month, Microsoft offered a one-time offer for Surface RT available at a subsidized starting price of $199 for qualifying educational institutes, which is available until the end of August in 26 countries, for all schools and universities buying directly from Microsoft.
Future expansion plans include authorizing commercial distributors and resellers in more countries and begin activating more partners to sell Microsoft devices. The educational incentive one-time offer for Surface RT will also be extended to Authorized Surface Resellers in the US.