Microsoft contemplating new way to nickel and dime people to death

In a misguided attempt to make PCs more affordable (or more likely a crafty attempt to squeeze money out of people), Microsoft has filed a patent for a “pay as you go” PC subscription system.

The basic idea is that you “build” a computer out of a set of parts, each with an associated cost, then Microsoft builds the computer, sends it to you, and you pay for it for every hour that you use it. While on the surface this might sound like a nice way to make PC gaming more affordable, when you crunch the numbers it ends up sounding kind of worthless.

The patent estimates a gaming PC would cost around $1.25 an hour (and we all know it will end up costing more than that). Assuming you use the computer for two hours a day (and I’m sure most of us use it much longer than that), you’ll be spending $75 a month, or $900 a year. Considering that, if you search for deals, you can build a decent gaming PC for around $500/$600 and use it as much as you want, MS seems like they’ll be ripping people off pretty hard.

The patent also mentions they may go with a flat rate pricing scheme that works for a set amount of time. Either way, anyone buying these is likely to get gouged.

If you want to get a gaming PC, build it yourself (it isn’t as hard as it looks) or find someone who can do it for you. Spending $900 a year on a subpar machine would just be crazy.

[Via Cnet]

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