Windows 10

Published: July 12th, 2016

Toronto, ON – Two major announcements are coming out of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference today around subscription-based services, namely for Windows 10 and Surface devices.

Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for CSP

First, the company announced Windows 10 Enterprise E3 edition for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, which back in 2014 opened Microsoft’s cloud and other subscription-based offerings to the channel to provision on a monthly basis.

Starting in the fall, at $7 per seat per person, CSP partners will be able to provision Windows 10 Enterprise Edition as part of a managed service offering, meant for customers that lack IT resources and want their licensing managed by a partner.

With this addition, Microsoft says that the channel can now offer Microsoft’s entire IT stack on a per user per month basis, which also includes Office 365, Dynamics Azure and CRM.

At its Day 2 keynote, Microsoft asserted that a push to improve security was partly behind the move.

As part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition slated for August 2 this year, Microsoft is adding active rather than only passive security features.

These include Windows Hello, which allows users to sign into websites using biometrics such as fingerprints or facial recognition. Furthermore, it is also adding CIO-level network security monitoring panels into the operating system itself for threat detection. These are in addition to other features such as advanced threat detection coming to SharePoint and Office 365.

Microsoft wants users to move to Windows 10 so much that it went as far as to show how hacker code was able to compromise Windows 7 but not 10.

 

Surface-as-a-Service

The other announcement, which drew applause from the audience, was the announcement that Surface devices can now be acquired through subscription.

Surface Enterprise Initiative, announced last September, initially saw large partners such as Dell and HP sell the devices, bundled with industry apps and solutions, to the enterprise.

With this announcement, CSP partners who are also Surface Authorized Distributors can offer the tablets through a managed service offering to all resellers and customers along with “managed cloud services, Office 365, Windows 10, and relevant ISV software.”

“We welcome anything that’s a service that can be delivered over CSP which allows us to own the whole relationship with the client like any other technology,” Dave Steeves, CEO of BC-based Microsoft’s cloud partner Steeves and Associates told CDN.

The move may lower the barrier to entry for Surface devices, which can retail for more than $1,000. Microsoft hopes that it will lead to more personalised computing as well as tailored solutions.