Though the cost of computers have come down in the recent years, they yet remain out of reach for people in developing nations like India, Mexico, Brazil or China. A majority of these people with modest incomes, who do not own a computer yet, are using the local cybercafe for all their computing needs.
Now taking a clue from the success of Internet cafes in developing world, Microsoft has launched a similar Pay-Per-Use Computing initiative called FlexGo - pay by the hour.
FlexGo will generally work like this: a user will pay for about half the cost of the computer upfront, and then will purchase pre-paid scratch cards to get hourly access to the computer at home. If the pre-paid card runs out and the user does not buy more hours, the computer stops working until the user buys another card.
The prepaid computer technology, called FlexGo, is basically a timer that monitors how long a consumer uses a computer. Users can pay by the hour to use a computer in their own homes.
From a business perspective, the market potential is large. More than 1 billion people worldwide earn enough to buy PCs under the FlexGo initiative, but not enough to buy one on their own.
The stripped down versions of Windows XP are not a success story. As developed markets become saturated, Microsoft is looking toward developing nations to make money from their Windows Software.
Microsoft FlexGo [Official Website] | FlexGo Technology | FlexGo Benefits
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