Microsoft has taken the wraps off of the Microsoft Devices Program, which allows customers to buy the company's Surface tablet and commercial services through authorized resellers.
Ingram Micro, SYNNEX and Tech Data Corp. are the first device-authorized distributors to sell the Surface to a newly designated group of device-authorized commercial resellers in this two-tier program. Resellers include CDW, Compucom Systems, En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises, PC Connection, PCM, SHI International, Softchoice, Softmart and Zones Inc.
Microsoft says its resellers not only offer the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's extended warranty, they bring a variety of value-added services to the Surface family, including: asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection.
The company this week also announced AppsForSurface, a new program for independent software vendors. It provides devices and funding for Surface-specific business applications, and addresses the growing demand for Surface enterprise applications. Program participants include Airstrip, Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Sage.
In June, Microsoft announced a one-time offer for Surface RT starting at $199 for qualifying educational institutes running until the end of August in 26 countries, valid for all K-12 schools and universities purchasing direct from Microsoft. In the coming days, Microsoft will expand this offer into the commercial channel starting with Authorized Surface Resellers in the United States.
Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.