Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Software The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Testing "Pay-As-You-Go" Software 202

Posted by Zonk
from the not-unless-i-can-hit-level-70-in-office-newb dept.
seriouslywtf writes "Microsoft has quietly rolled out a pay-as-you-go software system in a few countries (South Africa, Mexico, and Romania) to test out how the public reacts to software rentals. Part of the current service includes a ~$15 fee per month to use Office 2003. If the service goes over well, Microsoft is considering extending the program to include other software or other countries. From the article: 'Are we moving towards a rental model for software? Despite the success of programs like Software Assurance, and the FlexGo program, it doesn't seem as if the traditional model of software sales is ever going to go away. Consumers still like the option of buying complete software packages. However, for places where the price of software keeps obtaining legitimate versions out of most people's reach, a rental program may be a useful alternative.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Testing "Pay-As-You-Go" Software

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:25PM (#18126324)
    And it begins...
    • Google: $50.00/machine/year x 28 machines = $1400.00/year
      Microsoft: $180.00/machine/year x 28 machines = $5400.00/year

      At that cost from Microsoft, it takes 2.78 years to amortize the cost of a full version of Office 2007 Pro. We don't upgrade anywhere near that often. However, the cost from Google is a lot more reasonable. Add in that most of our people don't use anywhere near the full range of features in Office, the Google option makes sense.

      • by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday February 23, 2007 @05:32PM (#18128080)
        Thing is, Google IS NOT MS Office. That alone is gonna take a huge bite out of their market. We've already got OpenOffice.org (which I'm convinced would gain 3% more market share if they didn't have .org as part of the product name. Stupidest decision I've seen in a while. :)). It is, for *most* people, a perfectly useable GOOD MS Office replacement. Now I know it doesn't do all the stuff Office does (having taught Office classes for 3 years I have a very good handle on what OpenOffice.org does not do), but for most users, it is perfectly fine, and is $0/machine/year x 28 machines for a whopping $0/year. Still: it is not MS Office, and so the uptake has been very, very slow.
    • by PFI_Optix (936301)
      ...and ends quickly if they stick with $15 a month for Office.

      I can walk into Wal-Mart and buy the student/teacher edition for $150, and that includes the msot commonly-used Office components. Regardless of the edition, they could "rent" for two years and spend the retail cost of the product. I'd rather spend the money up front and consider it a money-saving investment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by networkBoy (774728)
        I would say that if the price was $0.50 per day I may consider it at home.
        Many days I don't touch anything office related, but on a monthly granularity I do.
        Thus if I could buy 30 days of office for $15, but those days were not forced to be sequential then sure I'd consider it.
        Of course google is free for the "home" version right?
        -nB
        • by tsm_sf (545316)
          Or you could simply download the cracked version and never have to worry about a constant stream of micropayments from your account, whether or not your software can phone home, or any of the other bullshit.

          For all the flak they seem to catch, it's interesting to note that pirates want nothing but to make my life easier.
    • And it begins...

      And suddenly, hacked "fee-verification" servers, that can be run as local host, began to appear.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:26PM (#18126332) Journal

    What about my data? If I agree to a "pay as you go" software model, will you allow me to create documents, data, etc., in an open format guaranteeing me free access at anytime I decide not to continue the subscription?

    Will you guarantee data and documents I create can be looked at and used in other applications? What if my friends aren't subscribers?

    Will you offer different levels of subscription, e.g., allow me to opt in for subscription at a lower rate for reduced features?

    From the article:

    In the early days of personal computer software, the concept of renting software was met with public outrage, as users worried that they would no longer be able to own their software. However, in the age of the Internet, cellular phones, and multiplayer online games, the concept of paying monthly fees for software has become less abhorrent. Microsoft's Software Assurance program, where users pay a yearly fee in order to always get the most up-to-date version of Microsoft products, could be considered a software rental program.

    I don't happen to agree with the articles inference that "paying monthly fees..., has become less abhorrent." I find it still mostly abhorrent, but rampant. The fact that it is everywhere indicates control of the market more than it indicates consumer-oriented services. When a population of users unshackled from monopoly-offered "pricing packages" and schemes freely endorse a paradigm, fine. Until then, I'm not convinced pay-as-you-go is desirable, or even makes sense.

    I've not talked with many people who are happy with pay-as-you-go. This seems mostly because pay-as-you-go is usually more synonymous with "commit-to-a-locked-in-contract" for time frames longer than the current technology obsolesence cycles. That's not fair, and as the phone companies edge ever closer to becoming one company again (a la AT&T circa 1983), it's likely to not even be legal.

    Microsoft stands to gain huge financials in the same way if they can pull it off, but better still for them they, much as the phone companies do, will have a better customer lock-in. Hopefully, the market will choose not to pay-as-they-go.

    • by paeanblack (191171) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:52PM (#18126704)
      What about my data? If I agree to a "pay as you go" software model, will you allow me to create documents, data, etc., in an open format guaranteeing me free access at anytime I decide not to continue the subscription?

      That's the idea behind pay-as-you-go.

      As you go to another product, be prepared to pay.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nmb3000 (741169)
      guaranteeing me free access at anytime I decide not to continue the subscription?

      As an aside, several Office products have free viewers available:

      Word [microsoft.com]
      Excel [microsoft.com]
      PowerPoint [microsoft.com]
      A Publisher option [microsoft.com]

      If you use Outlook or Access, you should be prepared to pay the "price" associated with proprietary formats. It's one of those "no duh" given things that people usually accept. If you use Adobe's products, then you deal with their proprietary formats. Companies use these formats for a number of reasons, partially for efficien
    • by Jhon (241832) * on Friday February 23, 2007 @04:13PM (#18126958) Homepage Journal

      What about my data? If I agree to a "pay as you go" software model, will you allow me to create documents, data, etc., in an open format guaranteeing me free access at anytime I decide not to continue the subscription?
      You could always get MSs free word viewer... or their free PowerPoint viewer... or their free excel viewer.

      Assuming it doesn't put some type of "rental flag" in the file which prevents it from working with the free viewers MS makes available.
      • What about my data? If I agree to a "pay as you go" software model, will you allow me to create documents, data, etc., in an open format guaranteeing me free access at anytime I decide not to continue the subscription?

        You could always get MSs free word viewer... or their free PowerPoint viewer... or their free excel viewer.

        And for those of us not running Windows? Being able to use a viewer doesn't remove the vendor lock-in anymore than running 'strings' on a .doc does. Free PDF viewers work because few users have any reason to edit the PDFs - thats why they are made into PDFs in the first place. You can never assume that a user will not want to change or update one of their own documents. Free access to your own files means being able to do things with them beyond just looking at them.

        And the idea of a spreadsheet where you

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Jhon (241832) *
          Uh... if you're not running windows, I doubt you'll have need of renting office 2003, m'kay?

          If you're not running windows, maybe this article is of no interest to you, m'kay?
          • And if you use email? And communicate with other people? Eventually, somebody will try to send you an MS Office document. Less common than opening your own documents, but still too common to ignore.

            The internet is all about interoperability! World domination ambitions aside, Microsoft doesn't give a hoot about that. And their world domination ambitions definitely give them an incentive to prevent interoperability whenever possible.
      • by Zephyros (966835)
        There's a difference between a viewer and an editor, and that's just what the parent's looking for as far as I can tell - data portability, not just readability.
    • I've not talked with many people who are happy with pay-as-you-go.

      I know this isn't exactly what your talking about but with the FSU tie my employer has we get SPSS (normally a $900+ purchase) per computer for $25 a year. You simply can't beat that with a dirty stick. And each year we get the newest version if we want. Of course thats just what FSU gets because it buys in such bulk, most universities pay close to $100 a year.
      Now MS.. thinking that near third world markets will pay $15 a month = $180 a ye
    • What about my data? ... Will you guarantee ... Will you offer ...

      That would be set forth in the license, wouldn't it? And TFA doesn't provide any details as to what form it would take, not that many of us could stomach reading through more than a few lines of what comes out of Microsoft's legal department without our eyes glazing over and a nasty fluid filling the back of our throats.

      Put another way, and at the risk of making it sound more palatable than it is, we're not talking a purchase v. rental model
    • by misleb (129952)

      I don't happen to agree with the articles inference that "paying monthly fees..., has become less abhorrent." I find it still mostly abhorrent, but rampant. The fact that it is everywhere indicates control of the market more than it indicates consumer-oriented services. When a population of users unshackled from monopoly-offered "pricing packages" and schemes freely endorse a paradigm, fine. Until then, I'm not convinced pay-as-you-go is desirable, or even makes sense.

      I depends on the contract. But "pay a

    • What about my data? If I agree to a "pay as you go" software model, will you allow me to create documents, data, etc., in an open format guaranteeing me free access at anytime I decide not to continue the subscription?

      I guess not, but think of all the fun you'll have squirting your spreadsheets to girls who appreciate math. I'll be looking for your summations.

  • Didn't Microsoft fail miserably with their pay as you go computing model? What's their obsession with this? It's like we already have enough software that's pay as you go, just look at the limited term licenses out there, compatibility issues that require version upgrades, etc.
    • Obsession. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nick Driver (238034) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:44PM (#18126616)
      What's their obsession with this?

      Their fundamental obsession is with establishing continuous revenue streams.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dgatwood (11270)

        The problem is that consumers are smarter than this. If they want to get a continuous revenue stream, they would have to abolish the for-sale versions. Office 2003 for $15/month? That's a four-year-old version of Office, and renting it for 10 months would cost as much as it costs to buy that ancient version. Heck, even if they were renting the 2007 version, it's would still take under two years, so unless they come out with a new one at least every two years, it costs more to rent than to buy.

        Who in t

    • by zCyl (14362) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:52PM (#18126718)

      What's their obsession with this?

      Everyone keeps saying, "Why do I need to upgrade when what I have works?" And software companies keep trying to come up with extra little gimmicks to convince people to upgrade, like "Look, now it spell checks words even if you type them backwards." But as software matures, the value of these new features reduces, and thus the potential profit of software companies reduces. A subscription model frees them from this concern, because if they have a subscription model they don't have to worry about producing new stuff. They can just keep charging people for the same old crap.
      • That's what IBM and the Seven Dwarfs were doing back in the day- and while it worked okay then, what we've got now works better and few will honestly want to go back to that stuff.

        MS needs to come up with something that actually generates value to keep making money, to be honest. That X-Box thing not making them enough? Oh well... Shouldn't have strip-mined the market the way they've been doing for the last 10 or so years or more.
  • A rental model is good business for both customer and supplier, in some situations, while I personally see it as a bone of contention. In my case, I rent my flat because I cannot afford the capital to buy with UK property prices. If I could get together the money to put down a deposit, I could get a decent mortgage and cheaper monthly outgoings. Because I cannot afford the initial capital, I have to pay a higher price for where I live.

    For some businesses, especially startups, it could be beneficial to
  • 1 Year=$180 (Score:5, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:29PM (#18126386) Homepage Journal
    So, we take $15*12=$180. Office 2003 Small Business can be had for as little as $145. If you use Office at least once a month, then 'pay as you go' is simply not cheaper. Yet another example of 'cheaper is not always cheaper.'

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jandrese (485)
      That was my thought too. $15/month is way too high for a single application, especially since a lot of people can get discounts (student, through work, etc...) on their copy of Office.
    • by L. VeGas (580015)
      This was my first thought. I generally upgrade my main software tools every four years or so. I can't imagine paying $15 per month for this. Certain high price, specialized tools or enterprise software, maybe, but not for a basic office suite when there are so many alternatives.

      On a semi-related note, about ten years ago I bought a cable-modem when they were first becoming commonly available for consumers. $200. Everybody else I knew leased theirs for $5 a month. I just replaced it last week. Savings: $400.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hjf (703092)
      Erm. People in those countries often make like $100 - $200 a month. You really expect them to pay they whole salary to buy something like Word? Besides, Office 2003 price at least in my country (Argentina) is well over $250, while the average salary is $300 a month.

      Maybe you have that kind of money, but we don't, so we usually rely on extended payments to buy "expensive" things. So, if you rent office or if you pay it in 12 payments (the usual), it's going to cost you more than the product, of course (becau
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by amuro98 (461673)
      I agree for often used applications, this model doesn't work out (for the consumer, that is.)

      But what about other applications? I usually find I need to use Partition Magic about once a year. Some time ago, I bought a copy but now find it unable to handle today's larger HDDs, not to mention newer OS's. I paid $60 originally, and upgrading to the latest version would cost me another $50 or so even with the rebate.

      I would have rather have the option to rent the program for maybe a day or a week. This way
      • Now that would be nice, there are a number of programs that I would only use every so often and paying say £10 for a month's use would be handy.
      • by hurfy (735314)
        The one time where i would recommend a time-limited program or rental be available. And the last place it probably will be because it makes sense to take advantage of instead of getting taken advantage of.....

        I hate the whole $50-60 to run Partition Magic or similiar usually one time :(

      • Except they know that people usually only use Partition Magic occasionally, so they'd set the rental price almost as high as the sale price.
        • by jandrese (485)
          Yeah, and they flat out say on their website that they don't give out any free demos because people only tend to need their product once every couple of years.

          IMHO, Partition Magic is way too expensive. The $60 price point means that most people likely pirate it. If it were $10 or $20 I know I would be a lot less reluctant to pay for it (I've just gone and backed up and remade drives instead of paying for it, even though Partition Magic would have been faster; when I'm putzing on my home machine I reall
    • So, we take $15*12=$180. Office 2003 Small Business can be had for as little as $145. If you use Office at least once a month, then 'pay as you go' is simply not cheaper. Yet another example of 'cheaper is not always cheaper.'

      Microsoft is glad to get $15 per month rather than $145 total from people who see $145 as "costing too much" or "I can't afford to pay all that money at once." This is the same very profitable business model as TV and appliance rental "services."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by danpsmith (922127)

      So, we take $15*12=$180. Office 2003 Small Business can be had for as little as $145. If you use Office at least once a month, then 'pay as you go' is simply not cheaper. Yet another example of 'cheaper is not always cheaper.'

      Do you think that really matters tho? I mean, you are dealing with a country where Rent-A-Center is seen as a credit card company to some people (as if credit cards weren't draconian enough with interest rates). This is the "we want it now, and we'll pay for it later" nation, it run

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by George Beech (870844)
      But your are not factoring in you have to KEEP paying for it EVERY year.
      So let's assume I go and buy office pro 2007 upgrade (who doesn't already have a verion of offce?) - $329
      (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/suites/FX101 7 54511033.aspx) No more paying for it ... ever.

      now in year one that looks like a great deal, but lets you a general life expectancy of 5-7 year (4 years for a replacement
      2003-2007 then 1-3 years to actually upgrade).

      In year 5 you would have spent $900 on the software.
      In year 6

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grcumb (781340)

      So, we take $15*12=$180. Office 2003 Small Business can be had for as little as $145. If you use Office at least once a month, then 'pay as you go' is simply not cheaper. Yet another example of 'cheaper is not always cheaper.'

      Thanks for pointing that out. Now you begin to understand the plight of the poor throughout the world, and why a free market is not sufficient to alleviate poverty in any systematic way.

      Terry Pratchett explained it well when he has Watch Commander Sam Vimes contemplate the price of

  • by iamacat (583406) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:31PM (#18126412)
    A lot of decent software, such as Apple's iWork, can be bought to own for half a year of this "rental". And of course, most people can save $180 per year by going with OpenOffice or AbiWord. I can see paying $30 per month for a kind of "MSDN personal" subscription with on demand access to ALL Microsoft's up to date software, including OS.
    • ...is what this is called. You see, everyone (and I use that in the generic, rather than literal sense) uses MS Office is their standard. Is it worth an hour of time per month per admin employee - 15 minutes or less for professionals - to have a seamless transition and not have to make any legacy document changes?

      From a personal standpoint, it doesn't make sense. Who cares if you have to spend a couple extra hours a month to save a couple of bucks? From business standpoint, it's all about the bottom line. I
  • by User 956 (568564) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:31PM (#18126414) Homepage
    I saw a demo of this. It went something like: "I see you're trying to enter your credit card information so you can edit this word document. Would you like some help?"
    • It's funny but I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft tried it. After all, what happens when the rental period expires and you just want to quickly read one of your own documents?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by User 956 (568564)
        After all, what happens when the rental period expires and you just want to quickly read one of your own documents?

        That's what I call "Rent-to-0wned".
  • There was an article earlier about Google Apps. Seems to me that eventually (and it may not take long) most users are going to be able to get by with Google's free apps. Why then pay as you go when you can have free?

    One of the reasons I dropped WordPerfect and steered clear of Office was that it WAS pay as you go. Each time there was an upgrade I was a sucker and kept buying the new version. I switched to OpenOffice so that upgrades didn't cost money and now use Google Docs. I can't imagine needing to go ba
    • by Junta (36770) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:44PM (#18126614)
      Google makes a *lot* more sense for pay-as-you go with respect to productivity apps than MS' approach.

      MS just wants a continual revenue stream for no additional effort. The problems they face as business is that their product very much fits with a purchase-once and use model. Once you have the software, i.e. when microsoft's development and delivery have succeded, MS is doing nothing by default. Sure, you get better support, but honestly how many times does the average person who *is* entitled ever bother to call for help? MS wants to have customers pay even if the customer is causing no work on MS's part, even if the upgrades they would provide mean nothing.

      Google is very different. The most blatant thing is client independence, no need to maintain local software. But what really is interesting in terms of cost is you offload a lot of your data reliablity costs (backup) to the third party. By providing every remotely interesting thing from top to bottom, it's easy and an average person would never realize the implications of their data being backed up, how many disks a week are dying, etc etc. It's a logical extension of the server hosting model, and very much lends itself to a subscription model that all companies would like to follow in selling product.
  • by Slugster (635830) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:32PM (#18126434)
    "It's Our Computer, You're Only Using It">
    ~
  • by dalek_killer (661544) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:35PM (#18126478)
    So if I don't pay will it go away?
  • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <<sorceror171> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:36PM (#18126498) Homepage
    "I remember saying [...] that people would spend more money on software than on hardware. We certainly haven't passed that milestone by quite a margin. But particularly as software as a service becomes a reality [that might change]." - Bill Gates, Newsweek, September 18th 2000
    • by drsmithy (35869)

      I remember saying [...] that people would spend more money on software than on hardware. We certainly haven't passed that milestone by quite a margin.

      We passed it long ago - especially once you move outside the realm of commodity consumer software. We have a whole office here full of AU$2000 PCs running software that has an AU$10,000 per-seat licensing cost.

      Heck, even our RHAS licenses cost us more over the lifetime of the machine than the hardware itself, for most machines.

  • by popo (107611) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:41PM (#18126552) Homepage

    As long as we're talking about an open standard there's no reason that
    other (free) players like Ajax9 won't become the ultimate winners.

    And neither Microsoft or Google has a webtop that's half as slick as
    DesktopTwo (which uses a very slick browser-based Java version
    of OpenOffice).

    The pressure is now on MSFT to be compatible with other players. The
    game is certainly on, but its not just between Google and MSFT.

    • by popo (107611)
      (I meant Ajax13, not Ajax9) - woop
    • by guruevi (827432)
      Microsoft has never and will never play nice with other players. Unless they use the OpenOffice document format or any other OPEN format (not open with a backdoor as is ooxml) which they won't do because they just paid to upgrade their Word 97 format to Word-95-embedded-in-XML and standardized on that.

      I agree however that an online office application that is also lightweight on the client side would be very well accepted. A lot of people are moving or have moved on to handheld and other low-power, low-perfo
  • by heroine (1220) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:41PM (#18126558) Homepage
    So now that Goog got the rental web application seed in your head, it's time for MS to hit you with another rental PC application press release. MS's model is to locate the data on your computer. Goog's model is to locate the data on their server. As much as everyone loves the Goog, let's do a test:

    Enter "I'm a terrorist" in Google Apps 5000 times.
    Enter "I'm a terrorist" in MS Office 5000 times.
    See what happens.

  • I avoid them whenever possible. I hear people talking up TiVo or NetFlix, but you've got to pay a stinking monthly fee. You can't pay as you go or pay for use. That's why I use the iTunes store as my TiVo. If I miss a show, I'll buy THAT EPISODE from iTunes. That way, if I don't use it for a month, it doesn't cost me the same as if I use it all the time.

    If there is a service I'd like to use that forces me to pay a monthly fee, I'll spend a few hours trying to get the same functionality without the fee.

    If

    • According to your blog [movetoiceland.com], you recently switched to Vonage and gave it high marks. How is their pricing model any different than NetFlix? Don't you get a monthly bill from them even if you don't make any calls? Surely you can go to your local mini mart and pick up a prepaid calling card or even a pay-as-you-go cell phone.
      • That was a legacy switch, and was primarily made to reduce said monthly fees.

        My wife requires the phone number for work, but we found out we could switch to Vonage and keep our number. If we didn't need it, I'd have dropped the phone service a long time ago.

        • If I don't use my phone, my monthly phone bill is less than Vonage. Just like NetFlix, Vonage is only cost-effective if you use the service frequently. It seems the real problem you have is not the pricing model, but the price. I don't think you or anyone else is going to opt for per-use service if it ends up being more expensive than the flat-rate. If you normally rent a lot of movies, NetFlix is actually a pretty good deal.
  • by aquatone282 (905179) on Friday February 23, 2007 @03:45PM (#18126626)

    You WHORE!

    <sob!>

  • Just a reaction to pressures OSS is putting on them and won't happen where MS Office is still a huge money maker and PHB's are suckered into upgrade after upgrade. You know, kinda like how MS Windows Express-edition showed up in Taiwan after HP and Dell couldn't keep up with demand for the cheap laptops running GNU/Linux.

    It's only going to put a small ding into Microsofts profits and it'll help slow down the cascade to OSS.

    Remember, 30% of Microsofts profits come from MS Office so they can not afford to cut
  • I can see advantages to this system: if you spread out the cost of software like Microsoft Office over it's lifetime, it may be better for a business or consumer to pay as they go and always get the latest version, when it's important to them. Software like antivirus which has a subscription service anyway could be enhanced by this. Maybe you only need a particular software for a month to accommodate a client's needs. Lots of good reasons.

    I think the people with the biggest problem with this will be people
  • Why must we force people of lower income to either pay what is beyond their reach for our tools or by forced to use inferior versions? In the financial situation of most of us, if we choose to pay Microsoft $400 for the usage of their software, we may complain, but it is really not that much relative to our other costs. For those that have lower income, because this is so much beyond what they could ever afford, M$ is rolling out programs like this. But is it being a "responsible global citizen"? http://www [microsoft.com]
    • There's sound economic theory to this. The airlines do it. Two people can be sitting right next to each other, one might have paid over $600, the other less than $200. The difference is that the $600 person had a refundable ticket, while the other person was flying on standby. The $400 difference is the cost of convenience.

      Non-airlines have had a devil of a time tranlating this to thier businesses. The airlines have absolutely no danger that the $200 person will try to sell his seat to someone else
      • by zxnos (813588)

        in an ideal world, you'd sell a business service for a percentage of someone's income.

        eh? so if i earn nothing, or 1$, i can get free or essentially free services? this makes no sense at all. why should someone who earns more money have to pay more for the same service? i dont get it. it just adds another step to selling something. now i have to verify a buyer's income? i also dont think it is right that the u.s. of a has a graduated income tax system. if we have to have an income tax, everyone should pay

  • Was $99 for installation on 3 machines. In the 4 years I've had it I've seen no need to replace it or upgrade it. So that's $33 per machine /48 months = 69 cents/month. If MS thinks I'm going to pay a 2180% premium they have been smoking too much crack. Well to me it's just another nudge off any and all Microsoft code forever.

    Sayonara Redmond Dudes.
  • Consumers still like the option of buying complete software packages. However, for places where the price of software keeps obtaining legitimate versions out of most people's reach, a rental program may be a useful alternative.'

    Wouldn't the obvious solution be to lower prices? Its like MS is trying to work around a problem that is of their own doing. I really think what contributes most to piracy is when people feel the price of something is more than the value they get from it. But I think MS's big problem is they don't want to figure out how to do development in a more efficient productive way that would let them charge less. They are an icon of what I call american corporate socialism, inefficiency and unreasonableness f

  • The cost of $15/mo may not sound like much, but it's +/- 6% of the gross monthly wage of the average Romanian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania [wikipedia.org]

    Let's say my gross average monthly wage in the U.S. is $4000. (not even a decent salary in urban America) 6% is a whopping $240.

    I won't ever deny Microsoft the capacity to make products/generate revenue despite my unfavorable attitude towards the company as a whole. But I don't see how they can make pay-as-you-go work at the prices they demand for their product
  • Will it work? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the_humeister (922869) on Friday February 23, 2007 @04:00PM (#18126800)
    Why not? It works for video games.
  • What's the difference between "pay as you go" and "if you don't pay, something bad may happen"? It sounds a lot like a protection racket to me, with software shutoffs and license revokations instead of firebombs and baseball bats.
  • When it involves Microsoft it should be called "pay and pay and pay as you go."

    Please make a note.

  • They already did this. Remember when they eliminated product upgrades (with a few exceptions for home users) and implemented Software Assurance. You pay ~50% of the purchase price and get two years of Software Assurance. A new version comes and you get it for "free". If you don't buy Software Assurance and a new version comes out, there is no upgrade to purchase, so if you want it you have to pay the full price.

    Seems like "Pay-As-You-Go" to me anyway. At least that's what we're forced to do unless we w
  • It's all about the upgrades or lack thereof. We are happy on Office XP and Windows XP. We will certainly skip at least one or two version upgrades on both products. Microsoft must hate that. So the are looking for ways to make sure we pay even if we don't upgrade and/or for a way to force upgrades when they want. Subscription software works for both goals.
  • I OWN copies of Microsoft Office 2000.

    I experienced rental with Office XP (e.g, Activation), and it sucks.

    My solution now? Unless I need a macro, it's OpenOffice for me, otherwise, Office 2000 running under Crossover Office.

    Renting software -- are you kidding?
  • Um, I'm not sure how $15/month is going to make the software any more appealing to people who can't (or won't) pay for it all up front. I mean $15/month is still pretty steep for a lot of people. No better than the $200 or whatever the full package normally costs. In fact, pay as you go usually ends up costing the consumer more in the long run. I mean, that is why companies want to do it. Recurring revenue means more $$$ from each individual.

    Rather than buying a package once for, say, $250 and using it for
  • Given that Microsoft Volume Licenses for Office can get as low as ~$15 a month and with those you are entitled to use the entire program, paying $15 a month to rent the same thing is ridiculous.

    The only way I would ever consider a long term payment program would be if I could own the software at the end of the year or whatever. Hell, if Microsoft were smart they might even be able to charge MORE in the long run. After all, Americans are used to paying interest for things, and spending more over the long r

  • Every IT department on the planet is on the upgrade cycle. A lot of home users only upgrade when they buy a new computer but they eventually DO upgrade. "Buying" the software doesn't really buy you a whole lot other than the first sale doctrine that most people never exercise. Possibly it's first sale doctrine people that Microsoft's trying to eliminate but more likely it's just a way to get a more odious license manager and DRM onto your computer. Or possibly it's an attempt to own the data that you create
  • Remember when Microsoft was the 'alternative' to having to lease time on the mainframes?

    It wasnt such a bad business ( and security ) model after all was it.
  • by Baavgai (598847) on Friday February 23, 2007 @06:20PM (#18128784) Homepage
    Consider, the areas in the US that support the rent to never own stores are those far below national average income levels. In those same areas, you can find light bulbs sold by the each. Cigarettes are also sold in singles, though it's technically illegal. Why is this bad?

    In every case, the person pays what they can afford right now, but ultimately ends up paying more over time. It's interesting that such a strategy is being test marketed in countries seen as needing a financial "break". This is a tactic that essentially takes advantage of those who can't afford up front costs.
  • My first thought was that it might be nice to be able to "rent" Office by the month. For example, you're working on a contract and you need to be able to exchange documents with other folks but only for the duration of the contract. Paying for the use of Office for a short time almost makes sense.

    But then I remembered: Uh, wait... I don't use Windows any more. What would I run their stinking software on? Now I'm sure that somewhere within Microsoft -- behind locked doors, heavily armed guards, and a radio

  • As long as it's Open Source. That way I'm not locked into paying a particular company to use my software for some arbitrary period of time. With Open Source I'm clearly paying a 'rental' fee for continued work by the company that makes the software.

    Microsoft has two major problems. First, I'm locked into their software by the data. And that's never going away no matter how much people talk about 'open' formats. The only way it will go away is if Microsoft abandons its current Office product line becau

  • Ooh, ooh, a good (from management's perspective) reason to use Google's new "Office" software! If Microsoft is doing it, then what Google is doing must be viable and legit, right? Well, I can hope they see it that way.
  • However, for places where the price of software keeps obtaining legitimate versions out of most people's reach, a rental program may be a useful alternative.

    So basically this translates as: "We make up an arbitrary price for software, which costs next to nothing to mass produce. If you can't afford this high price, we'll charge you a smaller amount on a recurring basis, so that in the long term you end up paying more than other people who have more money than you do." How thoughtful of them.

  • Stop paying your rental fees, lose your files. Ah, what a beautiful industry!

    Tom

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

Working...