Mircosoft recently applied for a patent on metered computing. Basically a computer is just about given to you for free but as you use programs and the types of programs you use you will be charged per time unit. Programs requiring more resources cost more per unit.
I can see how some consumers may find this an attractive solution. Especially those who do not use the computer often or use it for one specific use. I have a feeling that this will be less of an ideal solution for the consumers who depend on technology on a daily basis. Consumers like the idea of having the freedom of doing with their computer and programs what they want whenever they want. The approach that Mircosoft is proposing feels a lot like the consumer is being nickel-and-dime. This also raises the question of how locked down the computer will be. Would you be able to install other programs such as open source software or would you be limited to the “packaged software bundles” that you have bought. How much control will you really have? As a developer I like being able to tinker with my computer to see what can really be done.
There seems to be enough options on the market for cheap computers that would make sense to users that only use lite computing instead of going with a pay-as-you-go model.
Overall this seems like a bad deal for the consumer. In the longer run you will lose more money using your computer then you would in owning the computer. I would rather have a less then ideal computer in performance, then a computer that I have to pay for everytime I use. I just don’t see how Mircosoft will be able to convince consumers to swtich from owning their own computer to paying for everything you do on your computer.