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Microsoft Begins Offering Surface Membership Plan


Editor in Chief

There's a new program from Microsoft that seems to offer some extra value and incentives for small businesses worth considering. It's called a Microsoft Surface Membership Plan and it aims to set your business up with "the latest Surface devices, accessories, support, and training."

For a monthly fee, the Surface Membership Plan will provide you with a current generation Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, or Surface 3, and it also comes with free upgrades whenever newer models are released. Along with the device, you will also receive extra services including system setup, personal training, in-store tech support, Accidental Damage Protection and an extended service plan.

Of course, the different plans vary in cost and depend on what device you choose and the length of the plan. They have 18, 24 or 30 months plans available. For example, a basic Surface Pro 3 will cost $32.99 per month over 30 months, while at the upper end a Surface Book with a 1TB hard drive, 16 GB RAM, Intel i7 processor and dual GPUs will run you $221 per month.

Basically, what this boils down to is a payment plan to get a new device and an extra up-charge for a ton of extra services and support to go with it. If you do the math, buying the device by itself and comparing it to these Membership Plans will cost you an extra $400 to $800 dollars. For the average individual consumer this is probably a big waste, but this is not geared toward that market, so this could be a solid offer for the business professional.

Here's a link for more info straight from Microsoft: Microsoft Store
I think it is neat that Microsoft is offering this. Some businesses would love to be able to pay for this device over a period of time instead of one lump sum up front.
I see a possible issue that a CPA would need to look at. I don't think paying in advance on a monthly basis would allow the full value to be taken as a section 179 capital equipment expense. I don't see a way to depreciate an intangible even it it ultimately results in new equipment. Not saying it doesn't make sense for some.

It sounds very much like Microsoft's software assurance plan which most bug companies have given up on.

[edit] It doesn't say, as far as I can tell, that they want to old equipment as a trade in!
If it was written up as a lease that would be different, (better tax implications), but it doesn't sound that way. Sounds more like maintenance but at least an expense, just not a capital expense.
I can see how this would be great for some businesses. Restaurants running them as point of sales for one thing.