Microsoft talked up the business credentials of its new Surface Pro 3 last night as it unveiled the tablet for the first time. But it failed to mention if or when a wider base of resellers will ever get to sell it.
The vendor insisted the third iteration of its device is "the tablet that can replace your laptop" thanks to its 12in HD display, Windows 8.1 Pro operating system, and fourth-generation Intel Core processor as well as a range of accessories such as click-in keyboards and a multi-position kickstand.
The introduction of the Surface Pro 3 shows Microsoft's "commitment to business has never been stronger", it claimed, but it said nothing as to whether resellers outside the handful of Authorised Device Resellers will ever be able to cash in on the tablets.
The channel has been miffed at Microsoft's decision to mainly ignore it in the company's Surface strategy since the tablet was first launched in 2012.
The vendor eventually allowed a few VARs in some countries the chance to sell it last year but its go-to-market strategy has been mainly direct. Its channel chief Phil Sorgen told CRN the decision was down to the vendor learning how to best sell hardware – something the firm is not used to.
Microsoft was not immediately available to comment on the go-to-market strategy at the time of publication, but told our US partner Channelnomics that it will continue to evaluate its options.
"We've taken and will continue to take a measured and phased approach to Surface commercial channel expansion to meet customer demand and partner expectations," it said.
Microsoft said the Surface Pro 3 is an ideal laptop replacement for businesses as it unveiled the device at a New York event.
"Surface Pro 3's versatile features allow commercial customers to deploy a laptop replacement that delivers the power, manageability and security they need to conduct business with confidence," it said.
The tablet is available from today at an estimated retail price of $799 (£474).
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