Microsoft announces Surface as a Service, new partners

Last September, Microsoft announced the Surface Enterprise Initiative, which would allow companies like Dell and HP to sell and support Surface tablets. Today, Microsoft has announced new partnerships and programs for the Initiative.

The two new partnerships announced today are IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton.

IBM will draw on its analytics and enterprise applications expertise to create new industry-specific solutions for financial services and consumer packaged goods(CPG)/retail companies that take advantage of the unique capabilities of Surface devices. IBM understands the specific challenges of these industries and will work with us to build the right set of solutions across devices, apps and services that will help bring greater mobility into their business, seamlessly blending existing infrastructure and Universal Windows applications on the backend with an easy-to-use, mobile frontend.

Microsoft also partnered with Booz Allen Hamilton to take "the next step in meeting the needs of Public Sector organizations".

Booz Allen Hamilton will develop scalable and secure solutions for Governments, the Public Sector and Healthcare verticals. Booz Allen’s clients have very specific needs, in terms of app compatibility, security, confidentiality and multiple credentials. Booz Allen has chosen to partner with Surface to take advantage of the world class enterprise grade security, manageability and flexibility available only with the combination of Surface and Windows 10.

The company also announced a new Surface subscription offering, calling it Surface as a Service, which has a nice ring to it, other than the fact that SaaS has a dual-meaning now. This will offer a faster upgrade cycle, more flexible purchasing options, and more.

Businesses will now be able to have the latest Surface devices "that evolve with the best Windows and Office have to offer."

Microsoft also wants to provide more options for global customers. Because of this, the company has announced the Surface Multi-National Purchasing Program, introducing four new resellers: CDW, Insight, SHI and Zones. Resellers that want to join the program can contact their local Partner Sales Executive.

Surface as a Service isn't the only subscription service that Microsoft announced today. The firm also announced a subscription model for Windows 10 enterprise customers, which will start at $7 per month.

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