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Microsoft wants you to upgrade to a new Surface every 18 months

The company's new Surface Plus program offers monthly payments and an upgrade plan for its touchscreen products.

The Surface Plus and Surface for Plus for Business are available for US customers and businesses online and in-store.

Microsoft is making Surface products easier to buy and upgrade, with a new monthly financing plan called Surface Plus

With the Surface Plus plan, customers in the US can now own expensive products such as the Surface Laptop, Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio, and pay them off with a 24-month, zero-interest payment plan. It's targeted at students, educators and businesses, according to the company's press release

The most interesting part is that you can return the original device and upgrade to a new one after 18 months. That starts a new 24-month payment cycle, but it's unclear right now how much credit buyers would get, if any, from their returned devices. 

It's similar to plans you've seen before with AT&T, Verizon and other phone carriers that allow people to pay for new phones on a monthly basis and swap them in for newer models. A version for businesses, cleverly called Surface Plus for Business, allows for variable lease terms and upgrades as often as every 12 months. 

The Surface Plus program starts August 1, and is available at the Microsoft Store, both online and at retail locations.