Although no specific plans have been made, it seems like executives within Microsoft are examining whether it makes sense to release ad-supported versions of products such as Works, Money, or even the Windows operating system itself.
This comes on the heels of the company’s announcement of Office Live and Windows Live, two products that will be ad-supported complements to its existing desktop software. Microsoft workers maintain that the software maker may be forced to go further if rivals launch ad-supported versions of popular programs such as PowerPoint.
I think it’s interesting that the world’s biggest software maker is thinking about this and slowly moving some of its software online.
It remains to be seen how far they go and how good a strategy this turns out to be in the end. It’s true that online advertising is more mature than it was a few years ago, but I’m still not so sure it’s mature enough to cover such ideas. Or maybe it’s ideas like this that will make it more mature by giving it more important and interesting properties to appear on.
I’m really interested in seeing how all this plays out.