Microsoft Ends Surface Plus Leasing Program for Students
Microsoft stopped accepting new Surface Plus Program leasing applications on Aug. 31, according to a Web site notice.
The Surface Plus Program was Microsoft's leasing program for students wanting to use Microsoft Surface devices, with the lease financing handled by Klarna, a Stockholm, Sweden-based Internet payments provider. The program launched a year ago. At that time, Microsoft also launched the Surface Plus for Business program, managed by LiftForward, which is still continuing.
The Surface Plus Program offered students a 0 percent annual interest rate, but it was just for 24 months. The rate would then increase to 19.99 percent after that time. The supposed benefit of this program is that it would allow students to upgrade the device after 18 months, but students also had to pay extra to get the Microsoft Complete warranty protection, if they wanted it.
The original terms of the Surface Plus Program appear to be still in effect for students that are participants in it. Microsoft is still honoring its Microsoft Surface Standard Warranty and Microsoft Complete for Surface extended warranty.
Microsoft gave no reason for ending the program, but buying Surface devices, which tend to be higher-priced than typical laptops, might have been a bit much for many students. At least in the United States, students have gotten squeezed by the combination of high tuition and textbook costs, along with the high costs of living. A bare-bones Surface device, minus the optional Type Cover and Surface Pen devices, starts at around $799.
The 19.99 percent annual interest rate was buried in fine print of the Surface Plus Program contracts. It might have even inspired some students to write a college paper about the ancient sin of usury, which seems to be coming back in fashion.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.