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Microsoft today announced it is expanding its Surface channel from “having a few hundred partners” to “a few thousand globally.” At the same time, the company has delayed the Surface Hub‘s launch date, which was previously pegged at September 1.
Update on August 12: The launch is now pegged for January 1, 2016.
The Surface sales and service channel expansion will occur “in the coming months.” Microsoft says it is looking for resellers and systems integrators “with strong hardware capabilities” — if that’s you, head to the Microsoft Partner Network Device Partner Portal and contact an Authorized Device Distributor to learn how to become a partner.
The news is a good indication that Microsoft is seeing a positive response to its Surface line, and is betting big on its growth. The company further noted today that this expansion is “directly related to our optimism for much broader success that will come with the release of Windows 10.”
As for Surface Hub, Microsoft announced on June 10 that the 55-inch version (for huddle spaces, small conference rooms and offices) is priced at $6,999 and the 84-inch (for larger meeting rooms) is priced at $19,999. The company started taking preorders in 24 markets on July 1 with the promise to start shipping two months later.
Microsoft says it has seen “strong demand out of the gate” and that based on the early interest, the company is tuning its manufacturing process to prepare for production at greater scale. As such, Microsoft is “adjusting our product roll-out schedule to ensure we deliver a great customer experience and set our partners up for success.”
In other words, either the company can’t keep up with demand or something is seriously screwed up at the production line. Either way, Microsoft doesn’t have a new ship date — the company merely says it will have an updated shipment schedule in August. That said, preorders are still open, so whatever the issue is, it’s not a complete disaster.
With Windows 10 launching later this month, you can bet Microsoft will be giving its Surface lineup a renewed push from July 29 all the way through the holiday shopping season. If you can wait, we’d wager there will be some great deals in the months ahead.
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