Microsoft is introducing managed service solutions for Windows 10 and Surface hardware.
Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the Windows and Devices group at Microsoft, talked in a blog post today apparently ahead of a session at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto about enterprises living in a "unique time" and a "digital revolution", and with it Microsoft's intention to deliver "more personal computing" by offering subscription models on Windows, Surface and Surface Hub hardware, and even HoloLens.
"Today, we are announcing Windows 10 Enterprise E3 in CSP [cloud solution providers]. Starting this fall, businesses can get enterprise-grade security and management capabilities at just $7 a seat per month for the first time through the CSP channel," wrote Mehdi.
"CSP partners will be able to provide a subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise Edition as part of a managed service offering, which is ideal for businesses that do not have dedicated IT resources or limited IT staff, and want their licensing and IT needs managed by a trusted and experienced partner."
This also, according to Mehdi, offers "the full stack from Microsoft", which includes Windows 10, Office 365, Dynamics Azure and CRM, as a per-user per-month subscription offering "through a single channel, which businesses can scale up or down as their needs change".
The pros are expressed as the usual arguments for managed service models, i.e. better security and simplified licences and deployment.
"Windows 10 Enterprise continues to be available through our regular licensing programmes and is part of our newly announced suites Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and E5 launching later this year," the blog post reminded everyone.
Mehdi also announced that CSPs can now offer Surface devices through a "managed service offering to all of our resellers and customers" for flexibility of solutions and, perhaps most importantly for the expensive hybrids, faster device refresh.
"Last year, we announced a partnership with Dell as part of our Surface Enterprise Initiative and we've seen great results. Since then, our customers and partners have told us they need help creating tailored solutions that digitise workflow across core business processes," said Mehdi.
"A transformation like that requires Surface devices that are not only highly portable, powerful and versatile, but bring the industry the leading security and productivity capabilities of Windows 10."
"Opportunities for HoloLens" were also tacked onto the bottom of the post, with a mention of "our agency partners around the world" building "incredible mixed reality experiences" with Microsoft's AR wearable, which we last tried out at 2016's Build conference, but nothing specific about licensing backed it up.
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