So basically its to allow stores and ISP to rent out computers and there internet?
You can rent 150 Hours of Computer time a month for 40.00
or __ MB Up/Down a Month or time for the internet connection?
Or allow parents to cut the internet off when they dont want there kid on the computer?
You are right - that's one dimension, but we need to look at the other side.
The FlexGo is meant for markets like India and continents like Africa. It will be introduced in the Vista programme on their starter edition. This is actually wonderful. Considering that a country like India, where the per capita income is $530/year, ie. $44/mo. Very low in comparison to say USA where the per capita income is $40,100/year or $3,342/mo. So all this sounds wonderful.
But what will not be wonderful is the fact that flexgo is something microsoft could and will extend to all their products. Now that will pinch us.
In India, for example, we had the department of telecom having a monopoly over communication. This was dismantled and private players allowed to come in. This brought down the cost of communication to the lowest in the world - seriously.
Too much of economics above!
The bottomline is, Microsoft is a monopoly. The price that they charge in the US, they will also charge in India. Considering the limited resource in the hands of people here, that will be a major pinch.
They will start with an affordable price, and as they get popular, they wiill jack up the price. Am sure people in the US and UK wiill find it costly, so think about a country like India!
That is why am sceptical about their move!
It might play a small role in the United States as there are a FEW internet cafe's that I know of (one in my local area, at the mall) where they could use that software (I'm assuming that's how it works) instead of a 3rd party software to rent out computers for a period of time for gaming or interent use. I went to an internet cafe in Wisconsin Dells because I didn't have a laptop at the time that could get online. Now I do, so that's out for me. Computers are cheap nowadays in the United States, only a couple hundred dollars, so I'm assuming that it's intended for other 3rd world countries that cannot afford computers of their own.
If you really think about it, It's no different from paying back a bank loan or paying back the financing on a new car or furniture. True you pay more, But for a country with a low income per person on average, It makes you wonder doesnt that give him more access to the world?
Its actually similar to a Prepaid Cell Phone. But the only down part is youd probably have to pay a fortune just to work all day on the thing and has a lot of effieciency problems especially for small businesses who need the computer on all day.
I think that in the third world market and the lower income markets here in the states and other 1st & 2nd class country's this isn't the worst idea. Microsoft is a company and company's intend to make money so you can't really blame them for that. Helping introduce these markets to the digital age is a job best suited for a company of there size as well. So why not?
I was introduced to computers through Microsoft products as a child. I eventually grew away from there products due to cost. I can see them raising there prices in this case eventually but it will most likely be caused by the same factors that caused earlier price hikes. Like piracy and competition from other software providers like Linux and Macintosh. Price aside I still think there the best people for the job.
Are there any competing providers who would be muscled out by this corporate giant in this market?
Just a note: I like to argue sometimes ... even if it makes me a villan : )