A recently filed Microsoft Patent shows that Microsoft is planning for a pay-per-use PC model. The patent is titled as Metered Pay-As-You-Go Computing Experience.
The current business model requires users to purchase a PC that is suited for various needs which can vary from simple word processing or web browsing or high end gaming or network gaming. With the new business model - Metered Pay-As-You-Go Computing Experience - user will be able to select a level of performance related to processor, memory, graphics power, etc that is driven not by a lifetime maximum requirement but rather by the need of the moment. For example, the user might need more memory and advanced graphics for gaming applications whereas less memory for word processing.
The model relies on various scalable performance level components such as a processor, memory, graphics controller, etc. There is a cost associated with these individual components which varies with the amount of its usage. For example, the cost may vary using 2GB of memory and 8GB of memory. The model also highly relies on a computer adapted for such metered usage. The user is presented with an interface from which the user can set performance levels of each individual component.