Microsoft is unveiling new programs which will let customers acquire Surface devices in the same way as smartphones. The programs which are known as Surface Plus for Business and Surface Plus provide financing at no-interest. Customers will also be able to upgrade their devices before the expiry of the term.
The Surface Plus program is aimed at teachers and students as Microsoft tries to dislodge Google Chromebooks which are the predominant devices in classrooms in the United States. Payments will be made monthly and customers have the option of upgrading to a newer model of the Surface after 18 months. In U.S. classrooms, Google Chromebooks accounted for more than 50% of the PC shipments. Microsoft’s share of the market stands at 22% while that of Apple is 14%.
The criteria for qualifying for an upgrade is returning the devices in good condition. Customers will also be required to consent to a new payment plan which will run for 24 months. Students will also be required to buy the devices from Microsoft’s online store or its bricks and mortar stores.
The launch of the payment plan for students comes ahead of schools in the United States reopening in August after the summer holiday.
“Whether it’s a Surface Book or Surface Studio – Surface Plus provides a simple, no-hassle plan to help students unlock their productivity and be more creative with Surface,” read a post on Microsoft’s website announcing the new Surface payment model.
As the name suggests Surface Plus for Business is aimed at enterprises that are small to medium-sized. The new plan is based on the already-existing Surface Membership program. Under the monthly payment plan, these enterprises can acquire for their employees Surface devices and make payments in instalments that can run for periods ranging between 18 and 30 months.
Corporate customers will be eligible for an upgrade after one year if they have signed up for a 24-month repayment period and after 18 months if they have signed up for a 30-month repayment period. It will also be possible for corporate customers to reduce or expand the number of devices mid-term.
Surface devices such as Surface Studio, Surface Book, Surface Laptop and Surface Pro will be available. Microsoft’s digital whiteboard which is popularly known as Surface Hub is also available under the Surface Plus for Business plan. The digital whiteboard which was not available under the older membership programs costs $9,000.