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Microsoft's metered pay-as-you-go patent: Trusted Computing Mark Two

Jan 28, 2009, 15:34 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gary Richmond)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"Here's a number: 20080319910. It obviously isn't a geometric progression or a Fibonacci series, but it may turn out to be very significant. It's a patent number and it is a Microsoft patent application. It was filed back in June 2007 but published on Christmas Day 2008. Simply put, Microsoft want to patent pay-as-you-go computing. If, like me, you have switched to a non-contract mobile phone, you are familiar with the concept; however what Microsoft is proposing is not charging for a net or phone connection per se, but for renting a discounted/subsidised computer and being charged for using it and the software at the other end. There seems to be three levels of charge:

"(1) metered charging by the hour for using software
(2) one-off charge
(3) charging structure based on hardware usage utilized for specific software tasks

"Richard Stallman warned about "cloud computing" calling it "worse than stupidity". He was thinking about Google services like Gmail and Google Docs, which at least have the virtue of being free (as in cost); but such usage raises questions about ownership, interoperability and access. Microsoft wants to charge for it. However, that looks positively benign when compared with item three."

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