Redmond’s Surface slates have occupied the news headlines for various reasons these past few weeks. There have been some downers to go with a fair bit of good news.

But through it all, one thing Microsoft has been focusing on is streamlining the retail availability and distribution channels of the Surface tablets. Not only should these measures increase sales of the currently available tablets, but should help streamline the launch of the net generation Surface tablets.

Back in July the technology titan announced that a number of authorized US distributors could sell the slates, thereby ensuring that large businesses, educational and government organizations could buy the hardware in bulk.

Now the company has expanded this effort in 17 new markets.

In a post on the official Surface blog, Microsoft announced that the tablets were available for businesses and enterprises these new countries via its network of authorized distributors:

“In addition to offering Microsoft’s extended warranty and accidental damage, resellers bring a variety of additional value-added services to the Surface family, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection.”

The new countries include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Along with confirming these new commercial channels, Microsoft once again reiterated that it is still committed to expanding business sales in all the countries where the Surface RT and the Surface Pro are sold to consumers.

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