Beginning in November, Microsoft will make its products available on a per use basis in the new easyEverything café set to open in New York City's Times Square. The café will feature 800 computer terminals and will rent not only computer time but access to Microsoft's popular suite of office software programs for a modest fee, speculated to be around $2 per session.
Microsoft will track the usage patterns of the café's patrons, hoping to learn more about how to price such pay-per-view services and which services are most popular.
The easyEverything café already exists across the ocean - there are 12 such facilities in London that serve tourists or workers in need of a quick computer fix. Existing cafés rent computer time by the hour and give customers access to Microsoft Works, the scaled-down version of the Office suite. Microsoft has plans to offer the complete Office suite at the European locations next year.
European locations of the easyEverything cafés have attracted unexpected crowds, with an average of about 5,000 patrons a day.