Microsoft Seeks VAR Trio to Push Surface in Education

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Redmond is in the process of appointing a trio of top partners to push its Surface tablet device into the education space.

Editor’s note:  As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.

Microsoft SurfaceMicrosoft Corp. is in the process of appointing a trio of top partners to push its Surface tablet device into the education space, CRN UK understands.

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The software giant finally began selling the machine through the channel recently with the launch of a pilot scheme allowing five leading resellers to sell into the B2B arena. The program to drive sales into the education market will run for an initial nine-month term. A host of familiar channel names have put their name in the hat, with a decision on the final three chosen partners expected soon.

Microsoft has gotten its share of flack from partners in recent months for its decision to build demand for its tablet via direct sales and retail strategies. The move to open out the Surface to partners in the business space was welcomed by some, but others felt aggrieved at the decision to limit its availability to just a quintet of partners.

According to recent research from IDC, Windows-based tablets accounted for little more than one percent of total units shipped globally in 2013's second quarter, way behind iOS at 32.5 percent and market leader Android at 62.6 percent.

Microsoft declined to comment for this story.

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit

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