Microsoft began selling the Surface via channel resellers in the US in July, and today it expanded that third-party sales program for its struggling PC-tablet hybrid into Canada and 16 countries in Europe.

Now “established” reseller partners in 17 new countries — Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK — can sell the Surface RT and Pro devices, along with specific deals and offers. Others partners in these markets will follow in “the coming weeks,” the company says.

The new partners expand Microsoft’s sales presence, and could give it more clout to reach enterprise users and business customers. That’s likely to be aided by recent price cuts for the Surface RT and Pro in Europe and North America.

➤ Surface rolls out next phase of business channel availability in 17 new markets [Microsoft Surface Blog]

Related: Windows RT, the sinking ship: Why Surface RT and Microsoft’s watered-down Windows 8 platform is failing

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