Intel Solutions Summit: Microsoft, Intel Target 600-Million-PC Upgrade Opportunity With New Channel Incentive Program

Intel is teaming up with Microsoft for a point-based channel incentive program aimed at getting Intel's Technology Provider partners to upgrade the 600 million PCs in use today that are 5 years old or older to the new Skylake-Windows 10 platform.

Under the Accelerate Your Business initiative, North American custom builders selling Windows 10-Skylake systems will be rewarded with the new program, available through Intel distributors, set to be unveiled at Intel's Solutions Summit on Tuesday in Kissimmee, Fla.

"This is a very positive thing for the channel," said Intel North America Channel Director Todd Garrigues in an exclusive interview with CRN. "This is going to move partners to move forward with sixth-gen, Core, Windows 10-based solutions. There are really cool solutions in terms of productivity, security, battery life and other features."

[Related: Partners: PC Innovation, Data Center Opportunities Top Intel Solutions Summit Wish List]

Sponsored post

According to Intel, custom builders in North America can earn points when they purchase Intel sixth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 components and Windows 10 Pro.

In order to be eligible to earn points, partners must be active Gold or Platinum Intel Technology Providers. The promotion, which kicks off this week, is valid until June 30.

According to Intel, the initiative will also include training, collateral and resource kits for reseller partners to help showcase the benefits of refreshing PCs.

Intel’s Skylake processors, unveiled during the summer, and Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS combined are driving an altogether new PC experience, said Garrigues.

Microsoft's Cortana voice recognition software, for example, utilizes Skylake's enhanced CPU processing audio pipeline to achieve accurate Correct Accept and low False Support performance as part of its keyword spotter functionality.

On the security side, Skylake contains Kernel Mode Code Integrity (KMCI) enforcement features, checking each kernel-mode driver for a digital signature. On the server side, Skylake contains Virtual Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which means its chips are secure crypto-processors designed to carry out cryptographic operations.

"Intel has always been very creative when it comes to creating interest in an ever-changing PC landscape,’ said Douglas Grosfield, the founder and CEO of Five Nines IT Solutions, a Kitchener, Ontario-based partner.

"The tight partnership and integration with Microsoft, and Intel’s own growth strategies, align very well with the quickening pace of adoption of Windows 10," Grosfield continued. "OS-as-a-Service capabilities in Windows 10, streamlined management and maintenance as a result, combined with the Xeon-like performance of the Gen-6 processors, set the table for a far superior end-user experience."

Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based Intel system builder, said he sees the need for partners to educate customers on the benefits of moving to Skylake-Windows 10.

"Ultimately, resellers can really differentiate themselves by being able to help customers select the right processor based on performance and functionality," said Tibbils. "It’s not easy and takes time, but that expertise is what individual and business consumers will really appreciate. … Over the years, we've learned that a processor's performance is based on more than just GHz or core count, it's based on many other features or technologies in the processor itself as well as the design that determine the overall performance."