Microsoft has launched a “pay-as-you-go” PC aimed at consumers in emerging markets, who will be able to buy computer time through pre-payment cards or a monthly subscription.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
The software giant’s pay-as-you-go Windows PCs include FlexGo technology, a metering system that shows users how much time they have used. The user will own the PC outright after buying a set number of hours.
The pay-as-you-go model is designed to tap into widespread familiarity with prepayment mobile phones and internet cafes.
Microsoft said the FlexGo system, which has been market tested for a year in Brazil, would allow suppliers to reduce the entry costs of PC ownership by 50% or more. The pay-as-you-go PCs are aimed at emerging markets where lack of access to credit, unpredictable incomes and high costs are a barrier to buying a computer.
Will Poole, senior vice-president of the Microsoft’s market expansion group, said: “Today there are already more than one billion prepaid mobile phones used around the world, so we know FlexGo enables a familiar and comfortable pay-as-you-go model that works for people with variable or unpredictable income.”
A second market trial will be launched in Brazil this week, with plans to extend the pay-as-you-go system to India, Mexico, Russia and China over the next few months.
Microsoft has also been working with telecommunication firms on subscription computing offerings that would provide a full-featured PC with broadband access and software through monthly payments.