The Hive, a start-up co-founded by eMachines' John Hui, has announced plans to launch compact low-power computing hardware on a rental basis, providing access to the latest software and free upgrades to its customers.
A logical extension of the growing interest in subscription-based software like Microsoft's Office 365 and Adobe's Creative Cloud, The Hive's Amplicity allows users to rent a compact PC for $99 every six months. At that price, they receive the hardware with a copy of Microsoft Windows pre-installed, with Liliputing
reporting that members will also receive subscriptions to Microsoft and Adobe's creative software suites and 1TB of cloud-based remote storage for their files.
The brightly-coloured Amplicity Anywhere is an interesting beast. Based on an Intel Atom processor, the unit relies upon a docking station for connection to external devices like a display, keyboard, and mouse. After the six-month period is up, the hardware can be returned to The Hive or kept for another six-month period by renewing the $99 subscription - upon receipt of which, the subscriber will receive an upgraded Amplicity Anywhere module, if one has been developed at the time.
Seemingly aware that a 2GB-RAM Atom-powered system with limited local storage won't be for everyone, the company has also announced a black-hued variant dubbed Amplicity which Liliputing reports features a more powerful Core M processor and will be purchasable outright for between $300 to $400.
The company is planning to launch its service early this year in the US, with no word yet on international availability. More information is available on the company's official website