MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED a series of strategic alliances to sell its Surface range of not-iPads through third parties, including an expanded partnership with Dell.
The move is designed to drive further adoption of Windows 10 in the enterprise when it launches later this month.
The Surface Enterprise Initiative will also use relationships with HP Accenture and Avanade in a move which seems to pre-empt the iPad Pro, which is expected to land in today's Apple wheel reinvention session.
Dell will be the first company to offer the Surface Pro 3 with enterprise-grade support options, starting with a rollout in the US and Canada in early October, with other countries to follow in early 2016.
The deal will see the Microsoft branded product sold with Dell Hardware Warranty, ProSupport including Accidental Damage as well as Configuration and Deployment Services for workgroups.
It's a bold move on both sides, as Dell will continue to plug its own Venue Pro tablets and Latitude 2-in-1 devices alongside the Surface on a use-case-by-use-case basis.
"Windows 10 is off to a great start, and we’re ready to help make the transition to Windows 10 as easy as possible for all of our customers,” said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive of Dell. "Together with Microsoft, we are giving our customers great products, including Surface, with the best sales, service and support in the world.”
Windows 10 has a wide range of enterprise features which are being formally rolled out six weeks after the general upgrade programme began. It will take widespread adoption by enterprises to make Windows 10 a true success and, although Microsoft has promoted the figure of 75 million devices already running the new OS, only 1.5 million of them are thought to be in the enterprise.
New enterprise features will include Enterprise Data Protection, Microsoft Passport for Enterprise and a new Windows Store for Business. µ
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