Feeds

MS unveils PC rental plan

Pay-as-you-go computing for emerging markets

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft today launched a technology to enable the delivery of PC rental schemes in emerging markets modelled on mobile phone pay-as-you-go packages. Dubbed FlexGo, the framework allows suppliers to rent out PCs activated by pre-pay cards. Consumers buy access to the machine for a certain period of time - when the card runs dry, the PC refuses access until the user buys more runtime.

Microsoft said the scheme was aimed at regions where folks can't afford to buy new machines or can't get credit to do so either. The scheme overlaps a little with projects to offer developing countries low-cost computers, but it's aimed more at nations that already have large urban populations and industrialisation.

Microsoft said trial pay-as-you-go PC schemes were now commencing in Brazil, with other pilots coming soon to China, Hungary, India, Mexico, Russia, Slovenia and Vietnam.

FlexGo also enables subscription models, allowing, say, ISPs to provide customers not only with internet access, but a machine to connect up at their end. Depending on the ISP's business model, users pay a percentage of the up-front cost of the PC or nothing at all.

The pay-as-you-go programme works the same way but the initial cost to the consumer is likely to be higher because there's less opportunity for the machine's provider to recoup costs over time.

microsoft flexgo rental pc

Either way, end users are likely to end up paying more for the PC than they might otherwise do, as is the way with all credit and rental schemes. Of course, buying outright may be less expensive in the long run, but it assumes the user has the wherewithal to do so.

But this is no philanthropic exercise - Microsoft's partners see the scheme as a way to sell more PCs and the software giant is itself looking to ship technology licences and server software on the back of it.

Will consumers in the countries Microsoft is targeting perceive a benefit to PC ownership? And will the system be sufficiently secure to prevent its abuse? Microsoft claimed that in addition to the metering system FlexGo adds to a "standard PC", it also monitors the PC for attempts to compromise its integrity - if someone puts back the system clock, for example. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.