Did you look on Japan with envy as Microsoft launched a 256GB Surface Pro in the country, leaving other countries with modest storage? If you're American, you won't have to fret any more: Microsoft has confirmed to Engadget that there will be "limited availability" of the 256GB model in the country through its new commercial reseller program. While the company didn't say exactly which stores will carry the Surface Pro, Windows Phone Central has already spotted the new version on sale at CDW for $1,200. New orders will still take a few days to ship, but it could be worth the wait for the ultimate version of Microsoft's official tablet.
Update: Microsoft has clarified its earlier statement in an FAQ -- at least at present, you'll have to be in business, education or the public sector to get the 256GB Surface Pro.
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Microsoft announces Surface commercial expansion
July 01, 2013
Microsoft announces business-channel expansion plans, commercial app development program and new education incentives.
REDMOND, Wash. - July 1, 2013 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the initial phase of its business-channel expansion plans for the Surface family of PCs, along with AppsForSurface - a new Surface application-development program for independent software vendors (ISVs).
As part of its measured and phased approach to the growth of the Surface business, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Devices Program, which allows customers to purchase Surface and commercial services through authorized resellers. The two-tier program establishes Ingram Micro Inc., SYNNEX Corp. and Tech Data Corp. as inaugural device-authorized distributors to sell Surface to a newly designated group of device-authorized commercial resellers. Today, these resellers include CDW, CompuCom Systems Inc., En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises Inc., PC Connection Inc., PCM Inc., SHI International Corp., Softchoice, Softmart and Zones Inc. In addition to offering Microsoft's extended warranty and accidental damage, resellers bring a variety of value-added services to the Surface family such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling. and data protection. During the next few months, Microsoft will work to authorize commercial distributors and resellers in more countries.
AppsForSurface, a new ISV program that provides devices and funding for Surface-specific business applications, addresses the growing demand for Surface enterprise applications. Current program participants include Airstrip, Citrix, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Sage.
In June, Microsoft announced a one-time offer for Surface RT starting at $199 for qualifying educational institutes running until the end of August in 26 countries, valid for all K–12 schools and universities purchasing direct from Microsoft. In the coming days, Microsoft will expand this offer into the commercial channel starting with Authorized Surface Resellers in the United States. Microsoft has a long tradition of delivering high-quality solutions for education, and this offer is intended to get Surface in the hands of even more educators and students.