Microsoft has filed a patent which details a business model whereby PCs are given away (or heavily subsidised) and users pay to use it, with charges dependant of lengths of use and performance.
Key to this scheme would be three types of packages, based on gaming, browsing and business.
The concept represents a very different way of selling PCs to the standard initial purchase model, but Microsoft claims this ‘granular’ approach will make PC usage more flexible for businesses and consumers.
“A computer with scalable performance level components and selectable software and service options has a user interface that allows individual performance levels to be selected,” reads the patent applications itself. “ To support a pay-per-use business model, each selectable item may have a cost associated with it, allowing a user to pay for the services actually selected and that presumably correspond to the tasks being performed.