- Microsoft launched a hardware as a service program with its Surface devices, enabling device upgrades every 18 months. A Windows Blog this week revealed details of Surface Plus and Surface Plus for Business.
- The program includes the Surface Laptop, Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio and will offer business users a subscription to Office 365 for Business as well as the Microsoft Complete service plan.
- The Surface Plus announcement comes after Q2 revenue reported Microsoft's cloud, Azure, had a year-over-year growth of 93% over Amazon's 42%. While experiencing success in cloud-based subscriptions, Microsoft's hardware sales have depreciated in the last year, according to GeekWire.
Google's Chromebook has dominated digital curriculum in education with expectations of further hardware spending to reach $16.2 billion this year. Microsoft and Apple have been struggling to have a presence in affordable tech tools for education and the enterprise.
Microsoft's Surface subscription model is meant to replace ownership of technology with guaranteed device updates for however many a company requires. With offering a monthly per user subscription rate for Office 365 for Business, Microsoft is making a further push to becoming a one-stop-shop for the enterprise.
In July, Microsoft released an Office 365 and Windows 10 bundle, Microsoft 365. The Software as a Service (SaaS) market is a domain Microsoft is drafting as an extension of its operating system foundation. As of now, Microsoft, followed by Oracle are the leaders in enterprise software vendors and SaaS.
The allure of the Surface hardware subscription coupled with update services and SaaS may be attractive to companies looking to bundle their enterprise tech solutions. However, the fact of the matter remains that many companies rely on hybrids of hardware, software, and even cloud services.