June 8, 2016 - Microsoft has kicked off a new offering on its online store, with plans being made available to businesses who wish to purchase Surface devices – and perhaps a consumer offering will follow.
The Microsoft Surface Membership scheme breaks payments down to make them more manageable, with prices starting at $32.99 (around £23, AU$44) per month for the Surface 3 over in the US.
You'll get the Surface Pro 4 starting at $51.99 (around £36, AU$70) per month, and the Surface Book kicks off at $79.99 (around £55, AU$107) per month. Those are the most basic devices on the longest contract (30 months), naturally enough.
As well as spreading payments to make them more manageable, the scheme gives you the option to upgrade your device for free whenever Redmond releases new hardware.
Service plan and full support
The Surface Membership also gives you full phone support every day of the week, along with Microsoft's Business Extended Service Plan with Accident Damage Protection, and personal training in the use of Surface devices is also available. And you get discounts with Microsoft's online store as well.
Currently this scheme is only available in the US, but hopefully we'll see it arrive in the UK before too long, possibly once Microsoft has found a suitable finance partner (the company is using LiftForward over in the States). Naturally, those businesses wishing to avail themselves of the scheme will need to be approved by said finance company.
Note that these plans are for businesses only, and individual consumers aren't able to sign up – not at the moment anyway. However, some of the comments we've seen online are demanding a consumer offering along the same lines, so perhaps Redmond will consider this too, particularly if the business scheme takes off nicely.