Microsoft Files for Pay-As-You-Go Computing Patent

Companies file patents for all kinds of crazy things, but it’s rare we see something that makes us stop and say to ourselves, “Really, that? Really?”

CNet reports that Microsoft has applied for a patent on pay-as-you-go computing in July of 2007. The application was published last Thursday; and so far Microsoft’s idea of a “metered, pay-as-you-go computing experience,” has left a lot of people bewildered.

Microsoft describes the patent idea briefly in its abstract and then at great length in the application but we’ll try and break it down and leave out the fluff. Basically you’re looking at a computer with scalable performance-level components, selectable software and service options. Users are charged in accordance with what they’re doing and the level of performance those tasks require. Browsing would be pretty cheap, gaming more expensive.

Some people have said this idea is pointless and others say it would be perfect for kiosks or libraries. However it looks like it might actually be the home user Microsoft is targeting after all. The Redmond company describes in the patent application that the current business model for computer hardware and software as an overall failing. Basically, “why buy a super powerful machine if you’re only going use it to its full potential a couple of times a week?”

“The current business model for computer hardware and software relies on a user purchasing a computer with hardware and software that is suited to the most demanding applications that the user expects to encounter. Therefore, a user may buy a multi-core processor with a significant amount of memory and advanced video support for gaming applications that are only used on the weekend, while the user's day-in, day-out activities may involve little more than word processing or web-browsing.”

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. Do you think PAYG computing could work in the home or are you of the opinion that anywhere outside of libraries or cafes, this concept is pointless? Let us know in the comments below.

  • kamkal
    stupid idea.

    buy stuff once, use as much as i want = good idea.
  • Just another way to take more money from us for software that doesnt work right
  • zenmaster
    I've never heard anything so stupid in my entire life.
  • Rahbot
    WoW! How Dumb is this. I think it would work in Cyber Cafes and Libaray's, but in a Home or Office what are you thinking. Microsoft is really starting to seem like MicroCrap. Windows XP Great OS both 32 and 64bits, Windows Vista 32bit SUCKS, Windows Vista 64Bit Better than the 32bit but still sucks, Windows 7 just another Vista revamped to look good. Now pay as you go scheam, Like Duke Nukem would say "Blow it out yer Ass"
  • RangerX3X
    This if implemented across the board would eliminate the hobby custom build PC world overnight. No one building their own system from scratch would pay as they go to use it. Absolutely rediculous. If the business model isn't working, then that is on them, not the consumer. A WOW FFS type OS...nice one you dolts.
  • ynotpcs
    This is completely NUTZ!

    Microsoft needs to be stopped, now! They have gone and created an expensive monster of computing as it stands already, and now they aren't satisfied with their $$ billions of profit? Poor Poor Microsoft! AWWW!!!

    This will totally ruin the Custom PC concept, and kill a lot of ingenuity by edging out all the little shops that contribute so much. Where would the likes of Voodoo PC's, Alienware, Falcon NW, etc.. be if they had to put up with this back in there day?
    I'll tell you where, they'd have never left the garage of American ingenuity & entrepreneurship, that's where they'd be.

    Stop MS now, this is nutz!
  • Onus
    Utterly mindless. How do they expect to scale a single machine from office apps on up to gaming? Are they going to provide smooth 60FPS+ high-res video over a broadband link? Yeah right.
    Most EULAs don't allow the kind of renting or sharing this kind of arrangement implies anyway.
    Come on, developers! Port all those great games to Linux! No more Microsquishy!
  • brendano257
    It makes no sense, you get a computer capable of gaming, but use it for browsing,and get charged less per month. Really now? I can browse, play games etc, and I don't pay any more than the first time. Maybe for a kiosk type thing at a cafe, but in the end Microsoft wants more money.

    Sounds to me like Xbox live: "You pay your ISP 40$ a month, then give us another $7 just to use it on your Xbox." No I'd rather use it on my PC *no extra charge*. Of course except for MMO's but that makes sense.
  • DXRick
    This is an obvious attempt to take advantage of stupid people. The PAYG would likely cost the user MORE than the upfront cost of buying the hardware and software. They will just bury the cost in easy monthly payments???? Bah!
  • Hothr
    Great, I'll put my new P.A.Y.G. computer that I PAID FOR right next to the Coin-OP Maytag washer in the kitchen (I empty the coins out each month and send them straight back to Maytag).