Microsoft's (MSFT) Surface 2 tablet push could come with some new peripherals -- including docking stations that work with existing and new Surface Pro devices. If true, VARs and corporate IT managers could be more inclined to give the tablets more consideration as full-blown PC desktop, ultrabook and notebook replacements.
Thurrott stated: The Dock will work with Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2. It will feature a mini Display Port for video-out, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and ports for microphones and speakers. He didn't mention pricing but predicted the Dock would arrive around the time Surface Pro 2 ships later this year.
For channel partners, the Dock represents the latest development in a steady stream of improving Surface news. Microsoft has cut current Surface tablet prices $100 and there are signs that demand for the tablets is picking up. Though the mainstream media remains skeptical, The VAR Guy is starting to hear from resellers who say they are seeing demand for the tablets.
Still, there's plenty of room for improvement. Microsoft's Surface partner program is quite limited -- empowering only some large distributors and authorized resellers rather than smaller, regional VARs and MSPs that -- together -- have strong channel influence. Can New Microsoft Channel Chief Phil Sorgen expand Surface's reach in the channel? Together, Surface Pro 2 and its Docking Station sound like mass market channel solutions -- assuming Microsoft is ready to fully embrace the channel with this opportunity...