Microsoft is in the process of appointing a trio of top partners to push its Surface tablet device into the education space, CRN understands.
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 programme to drive sales into the education market will run for an initial nine-month term. A host of familiar channel names are understood to have put their name in the hat, with a decision on the final three chosen partners expected soon.
Microsoft has come in for flak from partners in recent months for its decision to build demand for its tablet via a direct sales and retail strategy. 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 per cent of total units shipped globally in 2013's second quarter, way behind iOS on 32.5 per cent and market leader Android on 62.6 per cent.
Microsoft declined to comment for this story.
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