U.S. patent application number 20080319910

Erm…it’s that called renting a piece of equipment?

This description kinda reminds me of renting or at least, leasing, a piece of equipment – but that this is done by the minute.

Once upon a time in a world we have almost forgotten that was how the internet started for most of us, no?

Microsoft’s vision of a situation where a “standard model” of PC is given away or heavily subsidized by someone in the supply chain. The end user then pays to use the computer, with charges based on both the length of usage time and the performance levels utilized, along with a “one-time charge.”

But we have to ask the question: Why?

Microsoft notes in the application that the end user could end up paying more for the computer, compared with the one-off cost entailed in the existing PC business model, but argues the user would benefit by having a PC with an extended “useful life.”

“A computer with scalable performance level components and selectable software and service options has a user interface that allows individual performance levels to be selected,” reads the patent application’s abstract. The patent application was filed June 21, 2007.

Isn’t that called upgrading?

Integral to Microsoft’s vision is a security module, embedded in the PC, that would effectively lock the PC to a certain supplier

Ahhhhh – now we’re getting the idea! Tie the lease to a certain supplier, and of course a certain ISP! And I wonder whom that would be?

“The metering agents and specific elements of the security module…allow an underwriter in the supply chain to confidently supply a computer at little or no upfront cost to a user or business, aware that their investment is protected and that the scalable performance capabilities generate revenue commensurate with actual performance level settings and usage,” the application reads.

Neoliberals will just LOVE that! Make a market where no market is and exploit it – perfect!

According to the application, the issue with the existing PC business model is that it “requires more or less a one chance at the consumer kind of mentality, where elasticity curves are based on the pressure to maximize profits on a one-time-sale, one-shot-at-the-consumer mentality.”

Pffft! That is all just business bullshit!

“Charging for the various bundles may be by bundle and by duration. For example, the office bundle may be $1.00 [68 pence] per hour, the gaming bundle may be $1.25 per hour and the browsing bundle may be $0.80 per hour. The usage charges may be abstracted to ‘units/hour’ to make currency conversions simpler. Alternatively, a bundle may incur a one-time charge that is operable until changed or for a fixed-usage period,” the document reads.

In other words – pay-per-hour internet usage – been done so how the hell can Microsoft patent it?


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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
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0 Responses to U.S. patent application number 20080319910

  1. AgentG says:

    This article appears to misrepresent the actual situation in the “pay-as-you-use” space for methods of paying for software. This MS patent is simply a tiny modification of the method, and there are many issued patents in this space. As such, this entire discussion appears unfounded and misleading. I am amazed that such misrepresentation of the facts would hit the news wire and be picked up by CNN.

  2. AgentG says:

    In this particular case, all the claims have been rejected by the examiner in a first office action. This means that the claims can be argued over the examiner’s findings, or may be amended to overcome the prior art cited by the examiner. As such, it is questionable whether the issues raised in the article would ever actually come to pass in view of this particular patent application.

    I am certain that there are already many patent claims issued in the “pay-as-you-use” segment of computing. The published office action should theoretically point to the closest references with regard to this Microsoft application, but there are likely hundreds of other patents out there covering various aspects in this space.

  3. oneStarman says:

    CELLULAR PC – This reminds me more of the cell phones you get cheap or free and end up with a $400 a month phone bill. I’m sure that’s the idea – lure you in then bleed you, nickel and dime. to death.

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