Feeds

MS unveils PC rental plan

Pay-as-you-go computing for emerging markets

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.