While there’s been no official announcement, Microsoft is now offering a Surface Membership plan for its Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, and Surface 3, allowing small business customers to buy the devices on a monthly payment plan.
Note: I have confirmed that this membership plan is for businesses, not individuals. –Paul
“Get the latest Surface devices, accessories, support, and training for your business, starting at $32.99 per month,” the Microsoft Surface Membership web site explains. “Join now to get the latest Surface devices, including the option to upgrade when available. Keep your business running smoothly in the office or out in the field with support and in-store training, 7 days per week. Plus, manage your budget more easily by choosing affordable monthly payments over costly, one-time purchases.”
I think this is a fantastic idea. And it nicely mimics the iPhone Upgrade Program that Apple debuted with its iPhone 6S and 6S plus last September, though of course the month cost is a lot higher.
That said, you can spread out the payments over 18, 24, or 30 months, and each Surface Membership includes phone and in-store tech support, 7 days per week; pne-on-one personal training; in-store discounts on future purchases of hardware, software, and more; and Microsoft Complete for Business Extended Service Plan with Accidental Damage Protection.
The cheapest Surface Book plan—for a Core i5 model with 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and no GPU—is about $109 per month over 18 months, though you could lower the price by spacing the payments out to 24 months ($90) or 30 months ($80). The most expensive Surface Book—i7, 16 GB, 1 TB, dGPU–is $221 per month over 18 months.
The Surface Pro 4 runs from $52 to $190 per month depending on configuration and timeline, while the cheaper Surface 3 runs from $33 to $60. (Each includes a Black Surface Type Cover in the price.)
You’ll need to deal with a company called LiftForward to handle the credit application an financing. “Surface Membership is financed through LiftForward, with easy monthly payment plans,” the site explains. “After your credit application is approved, you’ll review and sign your LiftForward agreement. Once you sign your agreement, Microsoft will ship your Surface and activate your Surface Membership benefits.”
The Microsoft Surface Membership also set up for multi-device sales.