Microsoft wants to take back the onus of managing Windows devices with the introduction of a new service combining Microsoft 365 Enterprise, device-as-a-service and cloud-based device management.
Dubbed Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD), the service will give customers the option to have Microsoft manage their devices, including pushing out feature updates and security.
As an as-a-service solution, MMD will be sold via a per-user monthly subscription fee based on the size of customer and device type.
MMD also includes device leasing. From the outset, Microsoft will only offer pre-configured Surface PCs, though Microsoft has already announced a handful of OEM partners coming on board such as Dell and HP, as well as partnerships with DXC, HCL, and Accenture/Avanade.
"We believe that MMD will be an option that allows organisations to fundamentally shift how they think about and manage their IT," Microsoft general manager Bill Karaounis said. "Through MMD, customers will be able to move toward a secure, always up-to-date environment with device management by Microsoft."
MMD has already started rolling out to select customers in the US and UK, and will arrive in Australia early next year, as well as Canada and New Zealand. Microsoft Australia's modern workplace lead Ian Heard took to LinkedIn today to announce he had joined the local MMD team as its sales lead.
Karaounis added that there would be ample opportunities for partners to expand their existing Microsoft 365 businesses.
"As we expand the offering, our partners will play a key role in helping us bring MMD to market and support customers in their transition to a modern desktop. We encourage customers who are interested in MMD to contact their local Microsoft account manager as we work to broaden the offering."
According to analyst Patrick Moorhead, Microsoft has also commited to a three-year refresh cycle along with 24-hour desktop support.
Microsoft took the wraps off Microsoft 365 in July last year, which combines Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security into a single subscription-based product.