For a company like microsoft not a lot per Gb but when you consider that over half of all computers use microsoft and each person needs say 250mb per year thats a hell of a lot. Probably in the region of millions of dolars. However I dont think microsoft publicise it. The would use terabytes of data so the rate would be low for bulk usage but overall a small fortune.
ArrGee: I get the feeling that people like Microsoft do have to pay. If I said to BT, OK, I'm going to connect to your network and potentially send terrabytes of information over it, I wouldn't have thought they'd say, certainly, not charge!
That is how the web is organised. Microsoft is the equivalent of the blue dots by the top right. Basically their computers are there and anyone can connect to them as such. It is quite hard to explain but you can potetially be routed from one server in the middle to a final destination (happens most of the time) and this is what makes the web fast as it allows the path that is less busy and faster to be used if another path is busy.
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