In 10 months since the initial launch of Microsoft Surface, we’ve moved to put Surface in the hands of more business customers around the world. Our plan has been to expand commercial distribution for Surface in a thoughtful way. This expansion continues to be via a select ecosystem of established channel partners with the precise geographical reach, tablet selling experience and commercial value-added services capabilities to deliver the type of business experience our customers need.
Today we’re kicking off the next phase in this plan – the first international channel availability of Surface RT and Surface Pro for our commercial, education and public sector customers in 17 new markets. In addition to the U.S. commercial channel, the markets that will begin to sell Surface today via a commercial channel include: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the the UK. In addition to offering Microsoft’s 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. But we’re not stopping here. We’re committed to authorizing a select set of additional partners in these markets in the coming weeks.
We continue to be committed to bringing business channel availability to all markets where Surface is currently sold. As Forrester analyst Tirthankar Sen noted in his blog commentary, extending from our initial U.S. commercial channel roll-out on July 1, this measured approach helps us to quickly gather feedback and improve while we grow our geographical reach in the business channel.
This availability in international markets, along with the updates coming to Surface RT with Windows 8.1are all important milestones for our customers. We know that people who use Surface love it! We’re looking forward to introducing even more customers in more places to the powerful productivity that Surface uniquely makes possible.
For more details about Surface in business, please go to surface.com/business.
Director – Microsoft Surface
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Which markets are part of the commercial channel expansion being announced for Surface today?
A: Markets announcing commercial channel availability for Surface today include: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK.
Q: In the short term, will you be adding more resellers in the markets you announced today?
A: The partners we’ve activated today represent just the first phase in our approach to these international markets. While we continue to expand our channel, we’ll stay focused on ensuring the best experience for our partners and customers. But we’re not stopping here. As we’ve said before, we’re committed to authorizing a select set of additional partners in these markets, and in additional markets, in the coming weeks.
Q: Why should I buy from an authorized reseller?
A: These resellers can sell to our commercial, education and public sector customers but not consumers or retailers. In addition to offering Microsoft’s extended warranty and accidental damage, these resellers bring a variety of additional value-added services to the Surface family including asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection.
Q: Do you have distributors?
A: There is a two-tier model for the Surface commercial channel. The distributors that are selected to participate in our program will resell Surface to the Authorized Surface Resellers.
Q: Who should I contact to buy Surface?
A: Commercial, education and public sector customers in the US can buy today from the resellers we have announced. Over the next few months, we will be working to authorize commercial distributors and resellers in more countries. For those markets where we do not have resellers yet, customers can order from our commercial order website – www.surface.com/commercialorder
Q: Where can I get more details about the education offer announced recently?
A: Last month, we announced the availability of Surface RT devices at a reduced price for a limited time. The offer runs through August 31, 2013. See our education blog for more details and how to buy.
Q: I heard that Outlook will be available on Surface RT. Can I start using it now?
A: Yes, you can get the Windows 8.1Preview today. Office 2013 RT will be installed with the Windows 8.1 Preview on your Surface RT.
Q: Where do I get more details about Windows 8.1 Preview?
A: Please see this post on the Windows blog for more details.