Windows 10 Enterprise now available on subscription from Microsoft's cloud partners

Organisations that need to protect sensitive information on their devices can now purchase Windows 10 Enterprise subscriptions from Microsoft partners.

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Windows 10 Enterprise is now available as a subscription from Microsoft's cloud partners.

Image: Nate Ralph/CNET

Businesses can now purchase Windows 10 Enterprise through a $7 per month, per user subscription deal with Microsoft's approved cloud service partners.

Microsoft announced at its partner conference in July it would soon let customers purchase Windows 10 Enterprise E3 from third-party firms. On Thursday this option became available through Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider launch partners.

"Windows 10 Enterprise E3 was designed for businesses that handle sensitive customer data (such as credit card or social security numbers), operate in regulated industries, or create and monetize intellectual property," Microsoft said.

Microsoft's launch partners include European IT services firm ALSO, which is also participating in Microsoft's Surface subscription program, and US partners Tech Data and Synnex Corporation.

The Windows 10 Enterprise E3 tier's management and security features include Device Guard, Credential Guard, and Managed User Experience. Device Guard locks down Windows 10 devices to ensure they only run trusted applications while Credential Guard uses virtualisation to restrict access to credentials stored by Windows 10.

E3 partners can also offer Microsoft's other enterprise cloud services including Azure, Dynamics, Office 365, and Windows.

The tier above E3, called Windows 10 Enterprise E5, will be available from Microsoft partners from October 1.

E5 incorporates everything from E3 with the addition of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which arrived in the recent Anniversary Update. The security service taps Microsoft's telemetry data from sensors embedded in Windows 10 devices across the globe and uses it to counter sophisticated attacks that can bypass other defences.

While Microsoft has admitted Windows 10 won't reach one billion devices by mid-2018, the new Windows 10 partner subscription service may still yet accelerate the deployment, which hit 350 million devices in July.

Read more on Windows 10

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