Microsoft Surface Pro (Photo : Microsoft)
The new Surface Commercial Order site allows businesses to place volume orders of either Surface with Windows RT or Surface with Windows 8 Pro tablets. The commercial site is not exclusive to the tablets but is open to accessories and after-market plans.
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Microsoft did issue an important note ahead of making orders:
- A valid Purchase Order (PO) is required for each order form submission,
- Lead times for delivery and order requirements may vary depending on inventory,
- If you do not have a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, there may be additional processing time to setup account and credit terms.
To view the Surface Commercial Order site, the user must fall under one of four categories: a Microsoft employee, PARTNERS Domain, has a Windows Live ID, or has a Federated Account.
According to Mary Jo Foley, via ZDNet, "I asked Microsoft about the new page and got a no comment from a company spokesperson. So I don't know whether Microsoft partners can order via this page. Nor do I know when this page went live. I believe 'commercial customers' means business users with volume licensing contracts with Microsoft, but, again, I am not 100 percent sure, as Microsoft isn't commenting on this."
Meanwhile, Microsoft released an update to both types of Surface tablets. Although both updates offer different improvements, a common theme was fixes to Wi-Fi reliability. The update provided better Wi-Fi in roaming or "limited" connectivity conditions.
The Surface updates come during the same week Bloomberg reported on Surface sales. According to the report, the Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro have sold around 1.5 million units so far. The alleged number of sales were from "people with knowledge of the company's sales," and is considered to be a "slow start" in Microsoft's bid to become a player in the tablet market.
The three insiders, remaining anonymous, revealed that Microsoft ordered three million Surface with Windows RT tablets but have sold a little more than a million while approximately 400,000 units of the Surface with Windows 8 Pro were sold.
- Microsoft Surface Pro Review Roundup: Battery Life, Price, Weight Among Issues with Windows 8 Pro Tablet Critics, click here.