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Dell and HP to sell Microsoft Surface tablets to businesses

By Koh Wanzi - on 9 Sep 2015, 5:29pm

Dell and HP to sell Microsoft Surface tablets to businesses

Dell and HP will soon start selling Microsoft Surface tablets to corporate customers as part of the Surface Enterprise Initiative. (Image Source: HP)

It’s virtually unheard of for a company to help sell a competitor’s hardware, but that’s exactly what Dell and HP are doing. Both companies have announced that they will now sell Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet and Surface accessories to large corporate customers, as part of what is being called the Surface Enterprise Initiative.

The new initiative will kick off in early October in the US and Canada, with a gradual rollout to the remaining 28 markets in Microsoft’s Surface commercial channel starting in early 2016.

While Microsoft is the clear winner of this deal, it’s harder to conceive of the benefit to companies like Dell and HP, which already manufacture and sell their own PC hardware – including business-oriented devices like the HP Pro Slate 12 – to businesses.

However, customers of both companies have apparently expressed interest in buying Surface devices, with their excellent design and flexible usage scenarios. As a result, it could potentially benefit them to offer the Surface devices as part of their broader portfolio of enterprise solutions. In addition, they also stand to profit by selling support and other services to corporate clients.

Even though the Surface Pro 3 is a great device, Microsoft could really still use a leg up in securing more widespread adoption of its tablet. In the last fiscal year which ended June 30, Microsoft reported about US$3.6 billion in Surface sales. In comparison, Apple’s iPad sales were US$4.5 billion in the most recent quarter alone.

Other than Dell and HP, two other firms – Accenture and Avanande – also have plans to begin selling Microsoft’s Surface devices to businesses.

Source: Microsoft, HP via The New York Times

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