Surface Business-channel Expansion, Commercial App and New Education Incentives

Microsoft expands business-channel for Surface devices, along with AppsForSurface — a new Surface app-development program for ISVs, as well as new education incentives.

Microsoft expands the distribution of its Surface family of PCs via authorized distributors and resellers, announces a new commercial app partnership program, and an update on existing offer to help transform education.

Starting in the U.S. Microsoft announce the first phase of expansion into the business channel that allows customers to purchase Surface Pro and RT devices and commercial services through authorized resellers: "CDW, CompuCom, En Pointe, Insight, SHI, Softmart, PCM, SHI, and Zones etc. "Over the next few months," Microsoft said it will authorize commercial distributors and resellers in more countries.

In addition, Microsoft also extended warranty and accidental damage, "resellers bring a variety of additional value-added services to the Surface family, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection," the company said.

Microsoft also announced a new ISV program called AppsForSurface, that provides devices and funding for Surface-specific business applications, addresses the growing demand for Surface enterprise applications.

ISVs currently participating include Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sage and healthcare developer Airstrip, Microsoft said.

In the coming days, Microsoft said it'll also expand it education offer--"a one-time offer for Surface RT starting at $199 for qualifying educational institutes purchasing direct from Microsoft"-- into the commercial channel starting with Authorized Surface Resellers in the United States.

When Microsoft launched the Surface RT, it originally launched in eight markets, only three of which had physical stores.

Microsoft also revealed that Surface is now available in 29 markets and 10,000+ physical stores around the world. It officially launched less than a year ago, in eight markets, with only three having physical stores.