Monday, May 22, 2006


A model for selling Energy Star appliances to more people with less money?

(With Energy Star appliances, you could use the energy savings to finance the usage.)

Microsoft tests 'pay as you go' computers
Plan is geared to developing nations

. . .

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.

In a departure from their traditional business models, Microsoft and hardware makers will test a pay-as-you-go plan for PC users in emerging markets around the world -- letting consumers buy time on their home computers through prepaid cards and subscriptions.

. . .

"You could think of it as financed with payments that map to a family's budget and their usage of the PC," Wickstrand said.

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, the price per hour of usage is expected to range from about 50 cents to 70 cents. Consumers would own the PC after buying a preset number of hours, in the general range of 600 to 900 hours.

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