The subscription service option for the giant Windows 10 Surface Hub will make it more accessible for smaller organisations
Microsoft is building out its subscription service for Surface hardware with the introduction of a Surface Hub-as-a-service option.
The Surface Hub is essentially a mix between a electronic whiteboard and a oversized tablet running a custom version of Windows 10 and is designed with collaboration in businesses and other organisation where whiteboard presentation and video conferencing are regularly carried out.
However, the Surface Hub is not a cheap purchase, starting from over £5,000 and running up to an accountant-bothering £16,000; this puts the Surface Hub out of the reach of smaller organisations and businesses that cannot stump up for such a heft outlay on a single product.
By effectively leasing the Surface Hub through its subscription service, Microsoft is broadening the scope to the type of organisations it can look to offer the device to.
The Redmond company has not yet revealed pricing for leasing a Surface Hub, despite Silicon’s requests, but it will be offering the service through IT partner Maverick. We would hazard a guess that the pricing will vary depending on the customer and the deals they negotiate.
For companies interested in the Surface Hub but not so keen to lease it or purchase it outright without having a good test drive of the device, Microsoft also revealed a programme that allows customers to try the Surface Hub for 30 days before they make a committed purchase decision.
Through a suite of IT supplier partners, Microsoft will deliver the trial service in Europe, Asia, the UK and the US from February 15. Customers will have to shell-out for a one-time installation fee, but after that they have free access to a Surface Hub for pretty much a month.
Some could argue that in a world of tablets, smart displays and TV’s loaded with apps such as Skype, the Surface Hub is a bit if a niche product at a price that do not ram home a need to rush out and purchase one for the office. But the Surface Hub has reportedly sold around 2,000 units across 24 countries, so there is an appetite for the device.
However, with more affordable option such as Google’s cloud-connected Jamboard, the Surface Hub has competition to fend off.
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