If the rumors are true, is Microsoft really considering this model as a response to Google encroaching on their market? It was only recently that Google has completed it’s online productivity suite — Google Docs (formerly Writely), Spreadsheets, and Presentations. Add to that their enterprise business solutions for Hosted Domains and Emails. Everything a small business would need in the office, mostly for free or at very minimal costs.
According to RWW, they will launch a version of Microsoft Works, its ‘lite’ office suite, in the next few months. However the kicker is that it won’t be a browser-based offering but a desktop app; and Microsoft will go back to its tried and true tactic of pre-installing it on PCs – it’s not known yet which PC makers will be involved. Adverts will run within the programs, including the flagship word processing and spreadsheet apps.
BBC says that “the ad-supported version will have a store of adverts it will show to people while they put together documents or spreadsheets. The store of ads would be refreshed every time that computer goes online.”
Obviously, this ad-supported model Microsoft is trying out could have been caused by the guys over at the ‘Plex, a strategy that might help them prevent Google eating away from they base users.
Free software is always a good thing. I guess Microsoft is willing to lose customers in exchange for potential ad dollars than totally losing them on Google. It might work.