updated 11:25 am EST, Fri January 2, 2009
MS Pay Per Use PC Rejected
Microsoft's patent application for a usage-based PC model has already been rebuffed by the US Patent Office, according to a letter disclosed today. Given to Microsoft a few days before the requested patent became public, the notice rejects Microsoft's submission for being at once too broad and too familiar. The tendency to use vague terms and the existence of already patented, relevant technology are cited as the core reasons behind the rejection.
The abrupt rejection puts a damper on any potential plans by Microsoft to switch to such a model, which has been touted as superior for reducing the cost of high-end PCs attached to a pay-per-use model and for saving money with users who only need a computer for short periods. Critics have countered that the approach would artificially raise the price of using PCs and limit the apps people are likely to use.
Microsoft is already using subscription services in the form of software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings to business customers.