Microsoft has added a new subscription product to its list of offerings – Surface All Access. Starting at $24.99 a month, subscribers get a Surface bundle with access to Office 365, 24 months of consumer financing at 0 percent by WebBank through Dell Financial Services, equipment protection, in -store training and support. Four of the five Surface bundles are available on October 16. The fifth bundle, the Surface Studio bundle, will be available November 15.
The plans include the following:
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- Surface Go bundle, starting at $24.99 a month, includes a Surface Go, choice of cover and Office 365.
- Surface Book 2 bundle, starting at $54.96 a month, includes a Surface Book 2 and Office 365.
- Surface Pro bundle, starting at $47.87 a month, including Surface Pro, choice of cover and Office 365
- Surface Laptop bundle, starting at $46.63 per month, includes Surface Laptop and Office 365
- Surface Studio bundle, starting at $150.79 per month, includes Surface Studio and Office 365.
By purchasing a Surface All Access subscription, customers are paying for their Surface, accessories and a two-year subscription to Office 365 at the time of purchase, though payments are spread out over 24 hours. Microsoft’s 30-day return policy applies to hardware, but the Office 365 two-year subscription is non-returnable and non-refundable. Customers are subject to credit approval and the interest rate charged after 24 months ranges from 18.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR. Customers can apply at their local Microsoft store.
Surface All Access FAQs page points out a few more restrictions under the program:
- Surface devices have a standard, one-year limited warranty. Subscribers who want additional protection can purchase Microsoft Complete to get an additional one year of warranty.
- There is not a trade-in program once the 24-month payment period is up.
- After 24 months, subscribers own their device, but they must continue the Office 365 subscription to continue access to Office 365.
- Customers who subscribe to Office 365 Personal will not lose any of the months they’ve paid on that subscription. The same is not true for subscribers to the Office Home subscription.
- The Office 365 subscription that is part of Surface All Access can not be cancelled or refunded.
Microsoft also offers Surface All Access for Business. This program is structured differently though. In this program, customers are leasing the computer and they can return the device, buy it out or trade it in at the end of the lease term. Surface All Access for Business starts at $52 a month for a Surface Pro and ranges to $131 a month for the Surface Studio bundle.
Is this subscription bundle a good deal? It depends on your perspective. If you want an affordable way to get the latest Surface technology now without a big cash outlay, then the Surface All Access may be for you. If you replace your hardware more frequently than two years, you will probably not be satisfied with this bundle, because after two years, you own it. There is not trade-in provision at this time. If you are Microsoft, however, this is a very good deal. This subscription bundle adds to Microsoft’s recurring revenue from products like Office 365, Xbox All Access and Microsoft Azure. This makes Microsoft less dependent on device revenue and provides it with more sustainable, long-term revenue.