Starting this fall, small businesses will be able to get Windows 10  enterprise-grade security and management capabilities for just $7 per user per month through Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider channel. The announcement was made Tuesday during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 event..
Microsoft will also rent Surface tablets for a monthly fee through providers, although no specific price was mentioned for that service.
“[E]very small business in every part of the world is going to be a digital company because of people in this room,” said Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella in his keynote to kick off the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016  taking place this week in Toronto.
With the announcement that Microsoft is lowering the cost of Windows 10 subscription options, it’s apparent the company intends to make that promise a reality.
— David Smith (@DavidSmithSMB) July 12, 2016 
Push to Expand Windows Enterprise Customer Base
Part of the reason for Microsoft’s push to widen the customer base has to do with the need for better security, which the Windows 10 Enterprise edition will provide.
“In most instances, organizations are moving quickly to Windows 10 due to the heightened security risks they face and the industry-leading security features in Windows 10 that can help protect them,” said  the announcement on the official Windows blog. “In the U.S. alone there are more than 56 million small to mid-sized businesses, in critical sectors like healthcare, legal and financial services that need strong security similar to what our large enterprise customers get through volume licensing agreements.”
This offer marks the first time smaller businesses can upgrade and manage the Enterprise edition via the cloud. Previously, only big companies had access to this level of security.
According to the announcement, Microsoft partners can now provide the “full IT stack,” which includes Windows 10, Office 365, Dynamics Azure and CRM as a per user, per month offering. It gives them access to increased security at a lower cost with certified Microsoft partners managing IT.
This should come as particularly good news to small to medium-sized businesses that are required to have tighter security due to industry or governmental regulations but can’t afford in-house IT staff to protect their sensitive data.
Windows 10  Photo via Shutterstock