Microsoft has said partners will be able to cash in on a new hardware buying model called Surface-as-a-service, which it claims will allow partners to offer hardware and software more flexibly.
The vendor made the announcement at its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto this week, prompting cheers from the thousands of partners gathered at the venue.
The model means partners can supply customers with a managed offering of Surface hardware and associated cloud software on a leased basis.
"This will complete your ability to offer services for cloud, Windows 10, Office 365 and for Surface so you can have one end-to-end holistic offering for your customers. We're really excited about that," said Yusuf Medhi, Microsoft's Windows and devices boss.
Only partners that are Surface Authorised Distributors and members of the Cloud Solutions Provider programme will be eligible to take part in the scheme, which allows them to offer Office 365, Windows 10 and other ISV software in a packaged solution alongside the hardware.
In a blog post about the scheme, Microsoft said the programme will be launched with European cloud player ALSO, adding that it will expand the programme globally in the future.
Speaking to CRN about the scheme, Microsoft UK's Windows and Surface lead Ryan Asdourian said the move reflects the vendor wishing to offer an "end-to-end" solution to customers through partners.
"If we think about the way people purchase hardware and how they purchase software, we think about the way the customer wants to consume all that, and Surface-as-a-service made sense in a number of ways to match up with the CSP offerings we have," he said.
He claimed that partners will be free to add their own personalised value on the scheme, which won't take a one-size-fits-all approach.
"With all our partners, we're always looking for ways they can differentiate their service and add value and added services to customers," he said.
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