Microsoft expands its enterprise initiative, offers Surface subscriptions to businesses

Microsoft has announced the company is expanding its Surface Enterprise Initiative with new partnerships and programs, including industry specific solutions from IBM as well as the option of purchasing Surface as part of a subscription.

The new partnerships with both IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton will aid the company in delivering solutions specifically tailored to industries. Satya Nadella made this a focus during the opening keynote at Windows Partner Conference 2016, confirming Microsoft's commitment in aiding businesses transform their work flow by incorporating technologies offered in the cloud and platforms. Here are some details on the new partnership with IBM:

"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's partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton will allow the latter to develop scalable and secure solutions for government bodies, thanks to Surface meeting strict security and interoperability requirements for use within the U.S. Department of Defense. Not only will solutions be offered to governments, but also public sector and healthcare parties.

Surface and Windows 10 Subscriptions

As well as the new partnerships, Microsoft also announced new programs to enable business partners – regardless of size – the ability to purchase and deploy Surface products in the field. Surface has been introduced as a service, much like Windows, whereby Cloud Solution Partners are able to bundled Surface PCs with managed services to resellers and customers, alongside other Microsoft products like Office 365 and Windows 10.

"This new offering faster device refresh, more flexible purchasing options, and ensures customers can have the latest Surface devices that evolve with the best Windows and Office have to offer. We launched this program with ALSO, a leading CSP out of Europe, and look forward to working with other partners to expand this program globally."

Also confirmed, starting in the fall, businesses will be able to enjoy enterprise-grade security and management capabilities for $7 a seat per month through the CSP channel. Windows 10 Enterprise Edition is touted as being ideal for businesses with little to no dedicated IT resources who wish to have their systems managed by a trusted partner.

More details on how Microsoft is attempting to make it easier for businesses to go digital with Surface, Windows and the cloud can be found on the official blog.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.