Microsoft announces new subscription options for Windows 10 and Surface devices. They are now selling their Surface products as a service alongside with Windows 10 and Office 365. This is part of their Surface Enterprise Initiative. They also announced new partnerships with IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton. Dell was the first one to partner with the Surface Enterprise Initiative.
Microsoft also highlights that partners can now offer their business users “full IT stack” including Windows 10, Office 365, Dynamics Azure, and CRM as a per user, per month offering in a single channel. Key features include:
- Increased Security: Offering the sophisticated security features of Windows 10 to help businesses secure sensitive data and identities, help ensure devices are protected from cybersecurity threats, give employees the freedom and flexibility to access sensitive data on a variety of devices, and help ensure controlled access to highly-sensitive data.
- Simplified Licensing & Deployment: Helping businesses lower up-front costs, eliminating the need for time-consuming device counting and audits, and making it easier to stay compliant with a subscription-based, per-user licensing model. This new offering allows businesses to easily move from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 without rebooting.
- Partner-managed IT: Configuring and managing devices by a partner experienced in Windows 10 and cloud deployments. Partners can also help businesses develop a device security and management strategy with the unique features of Windows 10. Businesses can view subscriptions and usage for Windows 10 Enterprise, and any other Microsoft cloud services purchased, in their partner portal for easier management with one contract, one user account, one support contact, and one simplified bill.
Last month, a mysterious Windows Upgrade Subscription Tool buried in the System32 folder was found as UpgradeSubscription.exe. Many speculated that this will turn the free upgraded Windows 10 machines into a service with annual fee. Microsoft then clarifies that it has nothing to do with the current machines running Windows 10. This may be associated with the new subscription offerings from Microsoft for Windows and Surface devices.