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Pay! or go stray? June 1, 2006

Posted by MadhoO in Online.

People in developing nations are accustomed to buying minutes for their mobile phones in advance. Now, Microsoft Corp. wants to see if they'll purchase PCs in much the same way.

Microsoft is announcing a new pay-as-you-go program dubbed FlexGo, that it hopes will make PC ownership more accessible to people in emerging markets.

Consumers would make a down-payment on a machine, then pay a small hourly fee each time they use it. Eventually, they would then own the PC outright. Microsoft has already tested the idea in Brazil, and hopes to expand to Russia, India, China and Mexico.

The program is one of several that are attempting to bring low-cost computing to the developing world , like some other guy promised a laptop at Rs. 5000/-. This is the latest attempt to enable computing for people in the world's developing economies.

Heard that, these PCs will be made with the special FLEXGO technology that would prevent change of any software/hardware component of the PC and that users have to buy so called 'user time' from their service provider. Sounds like a prepaid mobile service…ain't that? Microsoft's Bill Gates too has advocated using mobile phones as broader computing devices in emerging nations.

As a general rule, Microsoft says a consumer using the FlexGo program could expect to initially pay around 40 percent to 60 percent of the standard cost of a PC. But then, they would own the PC after buying a preset number of hours, in the general range of 600 to 900 hours.

I am really eager to check out whther the program will be yet another success to Microsoft and its Co-sponsors, or a dumb and risky offer like the RIM in its early days. Do you fancy that?…



1. Soc16 - November 17, 2006


I have enjoyed reading your article, thanks.

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