Software as a service
is running an interesting story
on what looks like a pilot project for the pricing side of Microsoft's .NET services. Apparently an Internet cafe is set to start offering M$ software with a rental/service approach rather than outright ownership.
Microsoft will by trying an experiment to allow consumers to rent usage time on its popular software like Office 2000 and Encarta 2001. This is a test of the Microsoft .NET strategy's concept of "software as a service," a la Application Service Providers (ASPs).
While I can see this idea working great for something like an Internet cafe, where users only have access to the software for minutes or hours at a time, I'm really hoping M$ doesn't adopt this pricing strategy for all of its upcoming products. The idea of software as a service rather than a product is interesting, especially for those products you need but only use rarely. Anyways, tear it up in the comments, I'm sure some of you have something to say.