Microsoft on Monday announced a new initiative that they hope will ultimately help sell more Surface tablets. The changes, outlined in the Microsoft Devices Program, will see a number of third party resellers make the slates available for purchase to commercial customers like businesses, schools and universities.

Redmond has initially selected 10 companies that will be allowed to sell Surface Pro and Surface RT devices. These include (in no particular order) PCM, Softmart, CDW, CompuCom Systems, En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises, Softchoice, SHI, PC Connection and Zones. We're told that as the program expands globally, so too will the number of participating partners.

Patrick Hart, vice president of software marketing for PCM, said business customers are increasingly seeking devices that span work and play, can easily be managed and configured and have the right software to get the job done.

Softmart's vice president of national sales, Roe Miller, agreed with Hart, further noting that Microsoft's new program demonstrates his company's commitment to finding the perfect solution for corporate clients that rely on Microsoft devices and services.

In related news, Microsoft has also confirmed that a limited number of 256GB Surface Pro tablets are being made available in the states. CDW is already listing the higher-capacity tablet for $1,199.99 with availability pegged at four to six days. If you recall, Microsoft launched a 256GB Surface Pro in Japan early last month but left everyone else out in the cold... until now.