In September, we discussed the Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD), a new enterprise-grade service that bundles several Microsoft business-focused products. While we knew MMD would roll out this month, it was unclear if it would be available to everyone. Well, MMD is available to all, provided you own one of Microsoft’s Surface devices.

MMD is a cloud-based service that bundles Microsoft 365 Enterprise, device as a service, and remote device management. The idea behind the integration is to help businesses make their IT departments more efficient.

The concept behind Microsoft Managed Desktop is to allow organizations to focus more on work and less on desktop management.

Microsoft did say last month there would be hardware restrictions. At the time, the company said devices would need to meet certain specifications and runtime quality. Nothing was mentioned about exclusivity to Surface devices.

However, after last week’s Surface hardware event Microsoft confirmed MMD is locked to its own devices. It is worth noting the company says Surface exclusivity is just for now. Microsoft plans to release the package to other Windows OEM PCs.

“We have some quality bars that these devices need to meet, and we also make sure that they’re providing the most relevant Windows enterprise features as well,” said Nathan Mercer, a senior product marketing manager for Microsoft 365.

Until then, organizations can access Microsoft Managed Desktop on four devices: The Surface Pro, Surface Studio, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book. Of course, there is now a new Surface Pro 6, Surface Studio 2 and Surface Laptop 2 to enjoy MMD on.

MMD Features

“Great experience with Microsoft 365 on modern devices—Our goal with MMD is to provide a great experience for users while keeping devices secure and up to date. MMD relies on the power of Microsoft 365, running in a consistent, lightweight, reference architecture that continues to evolve to allow our customers to take full advantage of our intelligent security capabilities to protect them from nascent threats. Importantly, MMD is built on modern devices that meet our specification and runtime quality bar.

Analytics benefit all customers—Analytics are at the heart of MMD. We leverage analytics to provide operational and security insights and learnings, so we can constantly monitor and improve, as well as enable us to manage the global MMD device population. As an example, we use insights and AI to determine which devices are ready for feature updates or, conversely, whether a specific app is blocking a device’s ability to update so we can act.

Customer and partner insight and feedback—Customer feedback and insight are also at the heart of MMD. We have deployed MMD in a measured approach with a set of early customers, leading to hundreds of changes in Microsoft 365 to better enable end-to-end scenarios for customers around the world.”