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.