I've been hearing about this for more then a year, but never thought they'd have the balls to go for a patent. If Micro$oft ever tries to charge me by the hour to use MY HARDWARE, I am taking retirement if future [SAS] games don't run on a Mac lol.
a brief except from the article:
"A different business model may allow a more granular approach to hardware and software sales," Microsoft argued. "A computer may have individually metered hardware and software components that a user can select and activate based on current need. When the need is browsing, a low level of performance may be used, and when network-based interactive gaming is the need of the moment, the highest available performance may be made available to the user."
If you currently own a machine with more then 2GB of RAM, and better then a Core 2 or Athlon, and intend to always keep high end systems -- you won't like it if this ever happens in the future, and you end up buying Windows 9 or something like that lol.
Although I must admit, this idea would work nice if MS tried to compete with the Blackberry some more......