Microsoft (MSFT) has launched a TouchWins program, which is about "pouring gasoline on the Touch fire" for Windows Professional tablet and PC sales, said Channel Chief Jon Roskill. TouchWins includes "millions of dollars in incentives" for authorized OEM distributors and resellers. Roskill also described new Office 365 Open enhancements to help partners drive cloud revenues.

Speaking at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC13), Roskill noted:

  • 160 million Windows XP machines need refreshes.
  • There's 135 percent tablet growth in the commercial market.
  • There are $5 to $10 incentives per TouchWins featured devices.
  • Separately, the Microsoft devices program (designed to promote Surface tablet sales) will extend to 28 more countries by the end of September 2013.
  • The Office 365 Open program extends to the E1, E3, Pro plus, Government and Academic SKUs for cloud partners. This is a HUGE deal, The VAR Guy believes, since it allows partners to manage end-customer cloud billing for more types of customers.
  • Microsoft will also offer transition SKUs -- helping customers to transition from one Office 365 SKU to another.
  • Partners doing 50 percent or more of their business in the cloud are growing 2.5 times faster than non-cloud centric partners.

That's all for now. Keep watching The VAR Guy's ongoing coverage of WPC13 here.