Pay-As-You-Go To Buy A Microsoft PC

by CXOtoday Staff    May 22, 2006

With the pay-as-you-go model of using software gaining popularity, Microsoft Corp. is offering flexible options of purchasing Windows PCs, with the help from its FlexGo technology.

This model allows for reduction of entry costs (by as much as 50%, according to the company), besides letting customers pay for their computer as they use it. The PC is owned outright after a set number of hours are purchased.

The initiative is aimed at emerging markets including India, where factors such as inadequate access to consumer credit, low per capita income and high entry costs may prevent consumers from purchasing a computer.

The FlexGo technology aligns hardware, software and service solutions to work in unison to meter and add time to the PC. It alerts users as time is consumed, and more hours (which can be purchased online or at local vendors) can be added by typing in a number from a prepaid card, failing which the machine moves into a ‘reserve tank’ or limited access state.

Trials will begin here in the next two months with Intel, Lenovo, ICICI Bank and Bajaj Auto Finance Ltd. as the initial partners. FlexGo technology will also create opportunities for Microsoft’s hardware partners and for the local IT ecosystem in emerging and developed markets.

“There are more than 50 million prepaid mobile phones in India so we know this is a familiar and comfortable model that works in markets with low or unstable income levels,” said Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India.

Microsoft is also in partnership with VSNL India to offer broadband to its pay-as-you-go customers and to better secure the PC asset.