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.'"