Dell agrees to sell Surface Pro as Microsoft targets the enterprise

Dell has agreed to sell Microsoft's Surface Pro alongside its own rival devices, as Redmond prepares to drive business adoption of its flagship tablet and Windows 10 operating system.

The Surface Enterprise Initiative will see Dell sell Surface Pros alongside its own Venue 8 and Venue 11 tablets in the US and Canada from October.

The hardware manufacturer will offer additional services on top of the tablet, including up to four years of Dell Hardware Warranty, ProSupport covering accidental damage and Configuration and Deployment Services.

Under the initiative, Microsoft has also teamed up with HP, Avanade and Accenture to offer Windows 10 on more machines, though details of these partnerships are currently thin on the ground.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of the Windows and devices group at Microsoft, said in ablog post: "Our largest global customers have told us they want to buy Surface from one partner, in one transaction and have devices deployed all over the world.

"Today's expanded partnership with Dellrepresents a bold step forward as we marry amazing devices, such as Surface Pro, with enterprise-class service and support."

Microsoft will rely on Dell's network of stores across the US and Canada to boost uptake of the Surface Pro range at a time when tablet sales are flagging, with analyst house IDC predicting in January that Windows 10 won't help tablet sales until late 2016.

Gartner predicted just eight per cent tablet growth for 2015, after two years of double digit growth, partly because people replace these devices less frequently than they do their smartphones.

Later in the year, Dell will start to sell the devices through, with the partnership applying to 28 other locations from early 2016.

The news comes as Apple is rumoured to launch the iPad Pro, an enterprise-focused version of its consumer tablet, later today,which it may sell through its existing business partnership with IBM.