Pay-as-you-go services could cut software piracy, Microsoft exec says

Research chief Craig Mundie: Usage-metering payment plans would cut upfront costs, encourage more legitimate purchases

Craig Mundie, who heads Microsoft Corp.'s research efforts, said in China today that the company may be able to reduce its losses from software piracy by expanding the use of pay-as-you-go computing plans similar to ones it has tested in some developing countries.

Charging users based on the time they spend accessing online services, instead of an upfront purchase fee, could "take some of the pressure off of the purely licensed model of software," Mundie said in an interview in Beijing.

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