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Partners Now Can Offer Microsoft Surface with Value-Adds

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Partners Now Can Offer Microsoft Surface with Value-Adds

July 11, 2013

  By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Resellers and agents are always looking for new ways to improve the lives of their customers. The Microsoft (News - Alert) Devices Program will give them another tool to do just that, as it lets customers buy Microsoft’s Surface tablet and commercial services through authorized resellers.

The Microsoft Surface is the company’s tablet play. While it offers touch technology that rivals that of Apple’s iPad line, it takes a different overall approach to the tablet space than its historic competitor.

While the iPad and many Android (News - Alert) tablets are primarily consumption devices, meant to watch movies and play games, the Surface is a lean, mean, computing machine that combines the tablet concept with that of an ultrabook.

The Surface runs Windows (either Windows RT or Windows 8), meaning it has native and full support for business applications such as Microsoft Office. It also has the power, the peripheral ports (such as USB 3!) and the expectation that it will be combined with a keyboard for serious productivity uses.

For anyone who wants a tablet but wishes it could double up as a serious productivity tool, the Surface could be what they have been craving.

Microsoft has empowered resellers and agents to offer the Surface, complete with the company’s extended warranty. But it also has left the door open for some serious value-add that resellers and agents can attach to the Surface to make it an extra-enticing option for their clients.

Resellers can bring extra value to the Surface by offering asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, on-site service and support, device recycling and data protection. This can be substantial extra value that resellers and agents can offer customers who have tablets on the mind.

Microsoft also has recently announced a new program, AppsForSurface, which helps 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, among others.

Right now the list of device-authorized distributors allowed to sell the Surface to authorized commercial resellers includes Ingram Micro, SYNNEX and Tech Data Corp. Authorized resellers allowed to sell the Surface so far include CDW (News - Alert), CompuCom Systems, En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises, PC Connection, PCM, SHI International, Softchoice, Softmart and Zones Inc.

The Surface Pro features a 10.6-inch screen with superb quality and resolution of 1920 x 1080. It sports an Intel (News - Alert) i5 CPU and 4Gb of memory, and weighs only 910 grams. It comes with an Intel HD Graphics 4000 Mobile GPU, and comes in 85Gb and 128Gb SSD versions.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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