Via MMD, Microsoft will provide business users with the option of having Microsoft manage their Windows 10 PCs. This means Microsoft will provide users with pre-configured Windows 10 PC hardware; ongoing Windows 10 feature updates, as well as security updates and other fixes; and overall management of those devices for a single, per-user monthly subscription fee. (The cost of this service will vary by user, based on size of the customer, type of device, etc.)
Those who buy MMD will get Microsoft 365 Enterprise -- the combination of Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security -- that is ready to run on Windows 10 devices which meet Microsoft's MMD specification and runtime quality bar. At first, qualifying devices will be Surface PCs only, but in the coming months, devices from HP, Dell and other PC makers will be offered as options, too, as long as they meet Microsoft's criteria.
As of today, Microsoft already is live with MMD with a small number of U.S. and U.K. customers who've been helping Redmond develop and test the service, officials said. Now availability is expanding, starting with the U.S. and U.K. In early 2019, the service will be available to customers in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. After that, Microsoft will expand to "several other geographies" in the second half of calendar 2019. Microsoft is telling customers interested in MMD to contact their local account managers for more information.
Microsoft initially will be selling the MMD service directly, but has plans to work with reseller/integrator partners, moving forward, said General Manager Bill Karagounis, who is spearheading MMD.
Users whose companies opt for MMD will be able to take their PCs out of the box, enter their credentials, and have their devices automatically populated with preset security and management policies and required company apps. In a perfect world, no IT person will need to be involved in this set up and deployment process, as Microsoft will take over those functions, said Karagounis.
Update: Thanks to a slide posted to Twitter by analyst Patrick Moorhead (which I've embedded above in my blog post), Microsoft also is committing to a three-year refresh cycle and next-day replacement of included devices, as well as security monitoring, 24 X 7 desktop support as part of the MMD offering.
Karagounis and team have been working with a number of customers and partners and have made "hundreds" of changes to Microsoft 365 in the process. These changes will be folded back into Microsoft 365 to improve it for business users, he said.
So, yes, Microsoft will also continue to offer Microsoft 365 (Enterprise, Business, Education, Firstline Worker, and other editions) as separate subscription services. Windows AutoPilot, Microsoft's service for setting up, resetting and deploying Windows 10 devices, also will still continue to be available separately. And just in case there's still any confusion, MMD is an option for corporate customers only; this is not a mandatory "Windows 365"-type service for consumers or business users.
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