Microsoft is partnering with telecommunications providers in emerging markets to offer pay-as-you-go and subscription computing to its customers. Today Microsoft announced the industry’s first pay-as-you-go personal computing offerings powered by Microsoft FlexGo technology. The initiative is targeted first at emerging markets around the world, where unpredictable income, inadequate access to consumer credit and high entry costs prevent many customers from owning a PC. Under this model, customers can get a full-featured Windows-enabled PC with low entry costs, and pay for the PC as they use it through the purchase of prepaid cards or tokens.
Great, just what we needed - more Nigerian spam on subsidized Microsoft PCs! Guess we won't be able to filter out email based on ALL CAPITAL teletyped spam. Hey, I'm all about helping under-developed countries' poor citizens getting some subsidized technology so they can be better educated, find good jobs and help their countries compete and grow their economies. However, call me a pessimist because I see this program as enabling scammers and spammers to create more fraud on "rented PCs". Of course, the FlexGo subscribers have to pay a subscription fee, so in theory Microsoft could revoke the subscription for any fraudulent activity. Though I'm not sure how they are going to collect the subsidized PC hardware. Send the police or the repo man? I don't think so. Charge their credit card? Assuming of course the credit card wasn't stolen in the first place. Maybe Microsoft can install some spyware on these PCs that prevents outbound mass emailing by spammers. To prevent hackers from bypassing, maybe even burn the anti-spam software into the BIOS and make the BIOS unwriteable. Unfeasible I'm sure, but I just really hate spammers and scammers. Get a real job already!
According to Microsoft, market trials of this model have been running in Brazil for over a year, and new trials will begin in China, India, Mexico and Russia over the next three months. Microsoft FlexGo technology also enables subscription computing, and trials under this model will begin in Brazil, Hungary, India, Slovenia and Vietnam in the next few months.
Just great - most of my spam is from China, India, and Russia which is 3 of the countries Microsoft mentions. Surprisingly I don't get Mexico and Brazil spam or any Spanish-related language spam. I wonder why that is?