Microsoft To Channel: 'Mobile The New Normal,' But Don't Wait

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However, in response to a question from a solution provider, Microsoft's Condie said he cannot say for sure when they will be able to access the new Surface 2 Pros from their distributors, other than it is expected soon.

He said he expects a channel strategy to go in place soon after the Surface 2 Pro is released next Tuesday, Oct. 29.

An Ingram Micro staff member in the audience said the distributor is working with Microsoft to develop a timeline for the Surface 2 Pro.

Condie's presentation was a reminder to make sure and get the word out to customers about the need to get going on their migration to new versions of Windows and Office, said Patricia Gonzalez, business development manager at Centre Technologies, a Houston-based solution provider and Microsoft partner.

"We have a monthly newsletter for customers," Gonzalez said. "We need to remind customers that on April 8, 2014, Windows XP and Office 2003 are going away. We want to make sure they are aware of the security risks of not migrating."

Gonzalez also said she looks forward to talking to customers about Windows 8.1, starting with how much different it is from Windows 8. "The biggest issue was the lack of the 'Start' button," she said. "Sure, customers could get the same effect in other ways. But, people in small businesses want to just get things done. They want to do their jobs and move on."

Gonzalez said her biggest takeaway from Condie's presentation was about how much Microsoft has enhanced Windows 8.1 and how well it is articulating its mobile strategy.

"It's all the simple things that Microsoft has changed, like adding the 'Start' button and reboot feature," she said. "We need to educate customers about the future, and not just about what's happening today."


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