In July last year, Microsoft announced the ‘Surface as a Service’ subscription; it offered some interesting features by treating hardware as if it were a software service.
The subscription service offered regular device refreshes – if Microsoft released a new Surface device, it would be automatically upgraded – and came with other software services like Office 365, Windows 10, managed cloud services and other relevant ISV software.
It’s pretty much like Office 365 – but for the Surface devices.
Surface Hub as a Service
Microsoft is now offering a subscription service for the Surface Hub that includes the initial investment and configuration costs within the subscription pricing.
Microsoft cites a recent research by IDC – a market research, and analysis firm – in its blog post; per the report, several businesses in the United States are looking forward to subscription-based hardware procurement programs.
The report claims that over 73% of the respondents were expecting to move to a subscription-based IT procurement model over the next three years.
The idea certainly works; it not only provides the devices, but also support, and timely updates for newer versions of the hardware.
It’s like buying an iPhone – it’s a lot less trouble if you could just get the latest iPhone every year via a subscription service.
In addition to the Surface Hub subscription service, Microsoft also announced the ‘Surface Hub Try & Buy Program.’
Starting from 15th of February, resellers in U.S., Europe, and Asia will be able to provide prospective customers a Surface Hub for no cost. The catch, of course, is that it would only be for 30 days.
This program would allow firms to make an informed choice; maybe they don’t need Surface Hub after all, or maybe it managed to transform their workflow.
Surface Multi-National Purchasing Program
In July last year, Microsoft also announced the Surface Multi-National Purchasing Program. The program gives more options to global customers to purchase Surface devices and accessories through a multitude of resellers.
The program has been limited to companies headquartered in the United States since its launch, until today; Microsoft today expanded the program to Europe by adding three new partners into the program.
ATEA, Bechtle, and Computacenter will now be able to provide the same streamlined experience to companies headquartered in Europe; providing Surface devices and accessories.
Microsoft also plans on expanding the program into Asia Pacific “very soon.”
Microsoft has managed to build an interesting line up of devices under the Surface brand. These devices innovate and live on the edge of what is possible.
Some are for the enterprise, while others are for the average Joe; however, these devices are not cheap.
That last bit is what hurts the most: the pricing makes these marvels unaffordable for most; hopefully, the Surface Phone will be more approachable.