On Christmas Day, Microsoft published the details on a recent patent application geared toward pay-as-you-go computing. The abstract details a situation where the supply chain heavily subsidizes the initial cost of computing equipment and in-turn, charges for time and the performance of the machine. Microsoft notes that the end user could possibly end up paying more for the computer than the original sale price. They argue, though, that users would benefit by increasing the “useful life” of the machine.
The scalable performance level components may include a processor, memory, graphics controller, etc. Software and services may include word processing, email, browsing, database access, etc. To support a pay-per-use business model, each selectable item may have a cost associated with it, allowing a user to pay for the services actually selected and that presumably correspond to the task or tasks being performed,” says the abstract.
The CNN article goes on to describe several other use cases and pricing models. I’ll let you take a gander for yourself. Now, this technology doesn’t directly affect high performance computing and we, as an industry, are not mentioned in the article. However, whats to say that Microsoft does implement such a strategy in their HPC OS platform? Would there be a market, especially in academia and commercial, where departments pay a fee for expected performance? How is this different than simply paying per cpu-hour? Your call folks.
You can read the full article here.