Microsoft is leading an effort to make computers more accessible to people in developing countries. Modeled on the pay-as-you-go model for mobile phones, FlexGo software will let people buy a computer loaded with Windows software, and then purchase prepaid cards or a monthly subscription to use the computer. The cost will be about the same as using an internet café, but the main advantage is that it is your own computer in your own home. The program will reduce the initial cost of purchasing a computer by 50%, making them more accessible for more people. After the users have purchased a set number of minutes, they will own the computer outright.
Microsoft has some high profile partners on this program, including rivals AMD and Intel, along with Lenovo, Phoenix Technologies and Transmeta. Initially, the program will be launched in Russia, China, Brazil, India and Mexico. A first round of trials in Brazil was deemed to be a success.