Microsoft has introduced a new programme that aims to bring its Surface Pro tablet to businesses on a larger scale. The company will now allow authorised resellers to supply the touchscreen units, as well as future Microsoft-manufactured devices, to business buyers, with the addition of value-added software and services.
Jenni Flinders, vice president of Microsoft's US partner group, said that this new programme marked the start of Microsoft's expansion into the devices sector. "This program greatly expands the reach of the Microsoft devices-and-services strategy, extending our family of devices enabled by cloud services to more organisations," she wrote on Microsoft's partner blog.
Authorised resellers will be able to sell Microsoft devices bundled with services such as asset tagging, on-site servicing and support, device recycling and data protection.
Microsoft has not yet announced when the programme will arrive in the UK, saying it is currently working on authorising resellers in more countries.
The announcement of the devices programme coincided with the introduction of the new app-development scheme. AppsForSurface seeks to tackle a lack of business and enterprise apps on the Windows 8 Store by providing funding to software developers creating apps specifically designed for the Surface tablet. Partners for the programme currently include Airstrip, Citrix and Sage.
Earlier in the week, Microsoft celebrated the Windows 8 Store hitting 100,000 apps, as it reached the figure faster than Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store. The announcement was met with some criticism, however, with many feeling the quality of the apps available is still lacking.
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