Microsoft gave out more details on how they would persue a pay-as-you-go scheme for their software. When I first heard of their new idea, I thought it would be something along the lines of paying a low(er) price to activate Windows and other software for a fixed period of time, like a year or 18 months.
Microsoft’s new form of payment that they have been working on actually charges you for the amount of time you use your computer, which software you use, and how much memory you use. Sadly, their method of keeping track of the software that you use is to use a program that monitors your use of the computer. More so than price, my concern would be with privacy and control. What would keep Microsoft from shutting down a particular app or even your computer; a kill switch? Additionally, this whole idea seems to back up Microsoft’s ideology that you don’t really own your computer or software, you are effectively using a copy of that software. It’s not yours to do anything you want with it.
Thankfully for Ubuntu and free software, there is an escape route from this lock-in software. Before I get to preaching Linux too heavily… I’ll get back to the main point of this post:
When consumers find out they have to keep paying high prices for software that they use, down to their memory on their computer, they will be looking for alternatives, namely Apple. Some will be concerned because they often work with large files. Others may be concerned about security and privacy. Others may not like the idea of having to pay money for everything they do on their computers. Ownership just makes sense to people. Microsoft’s new plan only says how much you really own with their software.