Microsoft introduces Surface Membership Plans

Surface-Pro-4

The first Surface tablets struggled to find an audience -- to put it politely -- but with Surface Pro 3 (and then Surface Pro 4) Microsoft finally got things right.

The company wants its range of slates to be a viable alternative to iPads for businesses and so has quietly introduced a membership plan that will allow firms to get the latest Surface devices, upgrade when available, and pay for things monthly.

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The Surface Membership Plan lets companies choose from a Surface Book (priced from $79.99 a month), Surface Pro 4 ($51.99 a month) or Surface 3 (from $32.99 a month).

Firms can choose what device(s) they require (you're allowed up to 100 of each), and choose the features, as well as pick a membership payment plan. The purchase can be spread over 18 months, 24 months or 30 months. Credit is financed through LiftForward.

Surface Membership includes:

  • Phone and in-store tech support, 7 days per week.
  • One-on-one personal training.
  • In-store discounts on future purchases of hardware, software, and more.
  • Microsoft Complete for Business Extended Service Plan with Accidental Damage Protection.

The idea is similar to the iPhone Upgrade program that Apple introduced last year, and is a smart move from Microsoft.

Naturally, buying a Surface device this way is much more expensive than purchasing it outright. Choose a Surface Pro 4 with the default options and pay over 30 months and it will cost you $51.99 a month (not including taxes and fees) for a total of $1559.70, as opposed to $899 if you paid for it outright. But of course you get a lot of benefits with the plan, and businesses will no doubt appreciate the flexibility it affords.

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