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Re: [News] Pay As You Go Computing?!?!

__/ [ Tim Smith ] on Tuesday 23 May 2006 03:20 \__

> In article <34814505.zzRUuybO3q@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, quoted:
>>| Under the idea, which Microsoft is introducing this week, people would
>>| be able to get a PC for their home with a mechanism that charges them
>>| depending on how much computing they use. Consumers would pay for about
>>| half of the PC upfront and then, say, 50 cents or 75 cents per hour of
>>| use. After several hundred hours of paid use, they would then own the
>>| PC outright.
> The big question here is what happens if you want to get a new computer,
> before you own the old one?  Say you paid $500 up front for a $1000
> computer, and paid another $250 in hourly usage fees, so you are still $250
> away from owning it.  Do you have to pay off the $250 before you can trade
> in?

Who spends $1000 on a personal computer? For a server, I can see the point.
SuSE Linux runs fine on a $300 brand new computer, which will satisfy the
needs of most, especially in poorer countries. We are not talking about
power users, neither should speak about O/Sen that are resource hogs.

> This kind of thing in general could make sense *IF* the fees were tied to
> something that is consumed when you use the computer.  Kind of like
> automobile leasing plans have charges that depend on how much you drove the
> car.  Driving the car does wear it out, so you are paying for that, so you
> can think of a lease as a rental fee plus a wear-and-tear fee.

A computer is not a car. I think you are aiming at a potentially poor
comparison. A car needs to be manufactured. Software need not. A car runs on
expensive petrol, whereas computers lead to minute bills. Electricity and
ISP's are not covered by the "Pay-as-you-go" principle from Microsoft.

On the other hand: cars, like computers, require maintenance. Cars are often
a necessity although public transportation (Internet Cafe/public clusters)

> For a computer, though, using it more doesn't really wear it out more,
> other than a trivial amount, except for the keyboard (OK, and maybe the
> backlight
> for an LCD display).  So, I don't see a way for this to be sensible for
> general computer use.
> For specific applications, pay-as-you-go is sensible.  Indeed, we see that
> now for many online games.  It costs me $16/month to play World of
> Warcraft. I'd actually like to have an option for games like that to pay by
> the hour. There are times when, say, I would enjoy spending an afternoon
> going back and playing a little Everquest, but I have to buy a whole
> month's worth of time to do that, so I don't.

This pays for the servers that run these games, I would imagine. Besides,
games are a luxury. An O/S is used for some vital stuff and one should not
depend on hourly budgets when getting things done.

> Games are the main application where this kind of thing makes sense.  There
> are other areas where it could make sense, though, such as some kinds of
> media areas (hourly access to premium porn sites?).

I agree that games and various 'services' suit that sales model better.

> What Microsoft should be doing, instead of this bogus pay-as-you-go for
> the basic computer, is provide a pay-as-you-go framework for applications
> to use.  Then, any application that wants to offer hourly access to some
> for-pay resource (games, porn, music) could go through a central
> pay-as-you-go manager.  The user would be able to buy time for games,
> music, porn, etc all from a central place, making it easy for the user to
> keep track of and manage it all.

This makes a little more sense. However, they will be better off choosing
advertisement revenue streams.

Counting the cost of counterfeiting

,----[ Quote ]
| Do you think that some of the issue is that your licensing model is just
| a bit outdated? Google has got people used to the idea that they can get
| stuff free in turn for reading advertising--is that a model that Microsoft
| is considering?
| Alexander (head of Microsoft's antipiracy program): We are definitely
| looking at it. We are always trying to stay three or four years ahead of
| the market. It is certainly something that is discussed.


Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "Slashdot is standard-compliant... in Japan"
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