Channel helps fuel Surface commercial growth

Microsoft's CEO has given partners a nod in the latest analysis of the vendor's quarterly results as they continue to take its Surface product out to a wider commercial market

Resellers have been given the nod of thanks from Microsoft's CEO for helping increase the size of the market for the firm's Surface hardware product.

The development of the reseller base selling the Surface has seen it grow steadily over the last few years to include three distributors - Westcoast, Ingram Mirco and Tech Data - reaching out to the UK channel base.

Those partners have delivered the goods with Satya Nadella praising the efforts of the channel with the Surface products.

"Surface continues to drive category growth and more commercial customers are choosing to deploy service with the deals of 500 devices or more increasing 70% year-over-year and we are reaching more commercial customers of all sizes with the support of our channel partners," he told analysts.

Attempts to widen the number of partners that are interested in the 2-in-1 device has included moves by Ingram to offer Surface as a Service to make the hardware a managed services option.

Apart from the growth in the Surface customer base the other highlights of Microsoft's Q3 was the growth of the revenue coming from the cloud side of things, with the Intelligent Cloud business Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 delivering an 8% increase to $6.4bn.

The productivity and business processes business saw a 6% revenue improvement, Office commercial products and cloud services was up by 5% and the server products and cloud services hit double digits with 11% growth.

The overall numbers of $22.3bn in sales and $7.1bn in profits were ahead of expectations and gave Nadella the chance to be on the front foot when talking up the firm's position in the competitive cloud market.

"This is a decision we made many, many years ago in some sense inception of Azure was built for a future which is much more distributed computing done in a very different way than the client server area. I think we're just finally getting into the early innings of what is true hybrid computing," he said.

The vendor was hit by the general state of the PC market with a slight rise in Pro licenses because of the recovery in the commercial market but the consumer side is largely static. Windows OEM revenue for the quarter was flat.

Other flies in the ointment included the phone business reporting a massive 72% revenue decline and the gaming business dropping by 5%.

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