Microsoft brings pay-monthly subscriptions to Surface tablet

Surface as a Service is aimed at businesses both large and small

Microsoft s Surface Book and Surface Pro

Microsoft has been doing well with its Surface hardware – unsurprisingly as hybrids are a strong point in a struggling PC market – and the company is now making a cool $1 billion (around £750 million, AU$1.3 billion) in revenue every quarter from the range. But of course Redmond still wants to up the ante, and is hoping to push more of the devices to businesses using a new leasing scheme.

The new Surface as a Service program is aimed at all businesses, from SMBs to enterprises, and means that authorised distributors of the hardware will be able to flog Surface devices on subscription plans to make costs more manageable.

Microsoft said its Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) will be able to sell the likes of the Surface Pro alongside its software subscription offerings such as Office 365, and of course the new Windows 10 Enterprise E3 product which has just been revealed.

The new Surface scheme has been kicked off with ALSO, one of the top CSP's operating in Europe, with more partners to come, naturally enough.

Flexible and fast refresh

In a blog post, Redmond noted that: "This new offering enables flexibility of solutions, faster device refresh and ensures customers can have the latest Surface devices that evolve with the best Windows and Office have to offer."

As well as this scheme, Microsoft also launched the Surface Membership program last month, which lets business users score a Surface device on a payment plan with free upgrades and support. That may be a more suitable proposition for smaller firms compared to this new Surface as a Service offering, even though the latter still targets SMBs.

At any rate, it's clear Microsoft is very serious about pushing the Surface range to businesses both large and small.

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