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Microsoft’s Surface Plus Hardware Subscription Service is a Financing Plan

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Microsoft’s new Surface Plus and Surface Plus for Business programs went live today (Aug. 1, 2017) in what appears to be an effort to become more competitive in the price sensitive education and business markets. In recent years, Google Chromebooks have dominated the lower education market with their low-cost Chromebooks and user-friendly educational apps. Now, many well-known PC brands, such as Acer and Dell, are attempting to adapt the Chromebook for business use, and they’re having moderate success doing so. 

MORE: Microsoft Surface Pro: What IT Pros Need to Know

While Apple has managed to hold onto their niche audience by producing exclusively high-end hardware with an aesthetically appealing OS, it looks like Microsoft is focusing on lowering the entry point for their products with financing programs. The Surface Plus and Surface Plus for Business programs allow customers to finance hardware purchases and upgrade after a specified time.

Surface Plus

Surface Plus members can now purchase a Surface device with a 24-month payment plan at 0 percent APR. After 18-months, assuming Microsoft deems the device to be in good condition, the Surface Plus member can upgrade to the latest Surface product. When the member upgrades they sign on to a new 24-month payment plan and credit agreement with Klarna, a third-party tech financing company.

The membership in Surface Plus also gives the customer access to “dedicated service and support” and “Microsoft Store benefits” like 30-day hassle free returns, Surface training and one year of free in-store support.

Surface Plus for Business

The Surface Plus for Business membership offers more options and flexibility than the Surface Plus program. Multiple Surface devices can be added to one contract and businesses can choose from 18-, 24- or 30-month upgrade periods, but the upgrade process works the same way. Business customers can also bundle their Office 365 subscriptions with their surface financing for an additional $8.25 per user, per month, and the plan comes with the Microsoft Complete for Business extended service plan with accidental damage protection.

Bottom Line

Microsoft refers to these programs as “ownership, reimagined”, but they’re basically just leasing programs. What makes these leasing programs different from traditional hardware leases for industrial equipment or business printers is that Microsoft is targeting organizations and individuals equally.