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MS Planning Free Web-Based Business Software 132

nieske writes "In response to Google Apps for Your Domain, Microsoft is also planning to release free web-based business software. The software will be ad-supported, but a paid, ad-free version will also be available. From the article: 'Revenue from software licenses for Office and the Windows operating system accounts for a bulk of Microsoft revenues. The challenge for Microsoft will be to make sure a free or, possibly, a subscription-supported version of Works won't hurt sales of its dominant Office software, which accounted for a quarter of the company's $44 billion in sales last year.' Would you choose an ad-supported online version of Microsoft Office over other free options like OpenOffice or Google Apps for Your Domain?"
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MS Planning Free Web-Based Business Software

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:21PM (#16161408) Journal
    Microsoft Corp. said on Thursday it may offer a free, advertising-supported version of its basic word processing and spreadsheet software, in an apparent bid to fend off a nascent challenge from Google Inc. in the business software market.
    Microsoft is not "planning" this. The title of TFA is "Microsoft mulls free Web-based business software." The definition of 'mull' is "to consider at length." Nowhere does it say this is for sure or that they are planning it. They are considering it. There is a difference. They are trying to figure out if it would be feasible to port MS Works to be accessible over the web generating revenue through in product advertising.

    Maybe they'll decide to work on this. Maybe they'll decide the market is too crowded already. Right now, it's all up in the air -- I have found no sources claiming they are already planning it.
    • by gooman ( 709147 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:09PM (#16161751) Journal
      Excellent point, and a very import distinction to make.

      Like it or not, Microsoft is the 800lb. Gorilla in the room and when they speak, people do listen.

      This could merely be an effort to take attention away from the alternatives, while Office2007 is still under construction, then after Office launches, Microsoft can declare the idea impractical.

      Even if they do something in this area, they are not leading, inventing or innovating and it will no doubt be crippled in some way so as not to damage the cash-cow that Office has become.

      I always remind people that Microsoft is a marketing company, NOT a technology company. They DO NOT innovate. They are extremely greedy and will do whatever they can to keep the cash coming in.

      I'm betting this is just a bit of "me too" fluff to keep the press folks distracted.

      • This could merely be an effort to take attention away from the alternatives

        Even bad publicity is good publicity. If they want to divert attention away from alternatives they need to produce something or shut up. Just speaking about Google being a competitor temps more people to check out what Google has to offer.

        Microsoft knows this. So I doubt it's just a diversion.
      • it will no doubt be crippled in some way so as not to damage the cash-cow that Office has become.

        and lets not forget window.
        odds that anything like this will work under any browser not based on ie near 0.
        odds that anything like this will work under any OS not released by MS exactly 0.

        Odds that somebody will make a special browser/OS change so that it will work, almost a sure thing.
        • by BiggyP ( 466507 )
          That's exactly what my first thought was upon reading this, Microsoft are looking for new and interesting ways to lock users into the windows platform, providing loads of "free" services which will only work with the MS browser on MS platforms is just one such technique. The sad thing is that if microsoft produce an online office suite, even if it's vastly less functional than OpenOffice.org or any of the existing browser based systems, with the MS Office brand behind it people will probably use the thing!
    • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @01:10PM (#16161753) Homepage Journal
      I don't think Microsoft has ever decided a market it too crowded to enter.
      • Nor have they ever "planned" anything. More likely some VP will wake up one morning and decide it needs to happen and everyone goes into Deathmarch mode until something that works just enough to ket the marketing types spin creative 4-color glossies without the FTC getting involved.

    • Maybe they'll decide the market is too crowded already.

      No market is too crowded for Microsoft.
    • by littlem ( 807099 )
      It's also misleading because Microsoft isn't planning to produce, or indeed mulling producing, any free software - just software one can use without charge.
    • by GWBasic ( 900357 )

      Something to consider is that Microsoft currently provides an, uhm, alternative to developing web applications called ClickOnce. Basically, ClickOnce allows a .Net WinForms application to be run directly off of the internet. Essentially, assuming your computer supports .Net, all you have to do is click on a hyperlink and the application runs.

      Another thing to consider is that Office already has significant web intergration. Sharepoint allows documents to be stored on a web server. It behaves in a manner

  • by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:25PM (#16161437) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad this article came out... It provided me a link to google so I could experiment with their apps on my domain. I've been meaning to do it, but I never got around to it...

    I wonder how many other people that didn't know about google's services, or just haven't gotten around to signing up WILL sign up because this M$ article reminded them to do so.
    • by bogie ( 31020 )
      Beyond Google's horrific privacy policies the one thing that gives me pause is its web based nature. Many individuals get by perfectly well with web only email but businesses especially very much want to have a local copy of their email and calendar available at all times. Imagine running your appointments off of google calendar and then you can't get them? What do you do when you need to print out an email from a year ago and your connection is down etc? The same goes for any online ASP but at least with s
      • Beyond Google's horrific privacy policies...

        Such as? I did some searches and didn't find anything interesting.
        • "We can keep your data forever, even when you say you want to delete it." Reference [chron.com]

          I don't want my business documents held forever on a server anyone can access.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        How often is this the case nowadays? If you've had 5 minutes of downtime in the last month, I'd be surprised. If you've had even 1 hour of downtime in the last 6 months you need to look into other options.
      • So, like when was the last time googles servies were down?

        You mean local net access? wouldnt regular email be useless then too?

        it is such a huge improvement to have your data accessible from anywhere, just using a browser, then having to be chained to one device.

        net access is about as reliable as telephone or electric at this point, and you are singing the whines of 5 years ago.
      • I agree that web based solutions are not yet ready for Corporate America. But this is what these Beta programs can help with. By giving away free services for small businesses and individuals, google can better their products. Right now there are products that can synchronize Google Calendar with desktops, blackberries, palm devices and pocket pc's (Windows Mobile). [companionlink.com] However, because google hasn't finalized their calendar software, some features do not yet work.

        My point is, Web software IS going to one da
  • Oh wonderful.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KoshClassic ( 325934 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:25PM (#16161441)
    Knowing Microsoft, it will have features like:

    a) it only works with Internet Explorer
    b) documents saved with it will never load on anything but Microsoft products
    c) shortcuts to it will be placed in highly visible locations in all future versions of Windows
    d) it can only be accessed from PC's running licensed copies of Windows

    etc. etc. etc.

    I'll stick with Google.
    • by z0idberg ( 888892 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:42PM (#16161559)
      you left out

      e) Everything you create with it will be DRMed to within an inch of its life. (You will be able to use your document again, but only if you call Microsoft first and ask if its OK).
    • Actually, I think the interesting thing here is the mention that it is Works and not Office that they're considering. To my knowledge Works either doesn't create .doc files. This will definitely hamper the usability of the online platform. Most people either expect or only support .doc files and very few support the Works format (can't remember the extention offhand). That's usually why people don't buy Works and buy Office instead.
      • Microsoft can alway enhance Works file format support. Doesn't the latest version of Works come with Word 2002? Anyway, they're considering doing this for Works rather than Office because Works fits better with the functionality offered by web-based apps. Actually, Works pisses all over any web based suite already (hell, WordPad and TextEdit (bundled with Windows and OSX, respectively) piss all over any web based wordprocessor). Trying to port Office to AJAX would be insane. Works is more reasonable.
      • by misleb ( 129952 )
        Hell, I didn't even know Works still EXISTED until a couple weeks ago when I read a Dell laptop spec sheet. Said it "includes MS Works 8 (does not include Word)". I did come across someone who was having trouble distributing a .wks file, but I thought it was some old document from the mid 90's or something. Nobody could read it.

        Anyway, I think MS would be lucky to come up with a web based suite that could compete with Works. Forget about competing with Office. That isn't even possible unless they go extra h
    • also...

      e) it will serve graphic based ads, not text based ones - vis a vis hotmail...

      No thank you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times ( 778537 )
      Not to mention that, unlike Google, Microsoft has to worry about cannibalizing Office sales, so they'll probably hobble it something fierce.
  • by chroot_james ( 833654 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:26PM (#16161445) Homepage
    I need excel and there is no two ways about it. Until other spreadsheet systems can absorb all the work my company (a large investment bank) has done and continues to do in excel, we won't even consider using anything else. I imagine MANY slashdotters are in the same boat.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by HugePedlar ( 900427 )
      You would choose to use a web-based spreadsheet in a large investment bank? I don't think many slashdotters are in THAT boat.
      • To clarify: I would continue to choose non-web-based ms office over all alternatives.
      • by micheas ( 231635 )
        I worked for a medium sized investment bank in the '90s about 20% of the VPs used calculators to add up rows of numbers on their spread sheets.

        Most of us that used excel had live quote feeds in our spreadsheets. "what is the current cost of this investment strategy that I pitched to a client a week ago?" and watching synthetic positions were frequent uses.

        An in house customized version of google spreadsheets could be able to satisfy both users. the quote feeds are already causing the spreadsheet to be depe
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by XenoPhage ( 242134 )
      But they're mulling a web version of Works, not Office.

      Have you looked at all at OpenOffice? I thought we did some pretty wierd stuff here that OO wouldn't be able to support, but as it happens, every file opened perfectly in OO and was just as useable..
      • by chroot_james ( 833654 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:57PM (#16161661) Homepage
        I've tried Open Office. I used it all through college, actually. The thing that excel has is the vba programming. Before everyone flares up, we simply can't avoid vba and excel. All the business people learn to use it and it makes some heavy duty calculations TRIVIAL to model in a programmatic way. These people know excel and don't care to learn the best way to do things. They don't even care about making the spreadsheet clean and easy to read. If they can make it crunch the numbers correctly, they're happy. Since these are the people who also bring the dough into the system, we have to adapt to what their needs are. It's not necessarily sharing the data, though it would be easier than having to worry about actual files. It's about how quickly something can get the job done and when people already know excel, excel wins.
    • Yes, there are many many large institutions that can't do without Excel, because there simply isn't another product that can do what it does. I've been struck how over the many large sites I've visited, the one invariant is Excel -- can't do finance without it.

      However, I think you'll find that on slashdot the replies will divide into:

      1 -- Check out OO.o. It does what Excel does.
      2 -- LOLz0rZ u use Ex-Hell!!!1! U shld get a real db like MySQL!!1!! ...which I think says something about the difficulty of comm
      • Yep. I think excel is simultaneously the best and worst tool to come to finance. And when people say "you need a db", they don't realize that a lot of people simply use excel as a sophisticated calculator and not always just to store data... As to the type of responses I'd get, look at them... case and point.
      • it's easy to forget what a complicated and powerful environment Excel is; even understanding what people _need_ to do in it (over what OO.o does) is hard, I guess.

        As someone who's used Lotus, Excel 4 and up, Quatropro, OO, Kspread and Gnumeric, you would have a hard time explaining exactly what Excel has to offer that other software does not. A spreadsheet is something you make for simple, repetitive calculations and quick graphs. When you need to perform "complicated" analysis, you are always better o

        • What does Excel have that others don't? VBA.

          Next, please.
        • Always?

          What if the end user can produce what (s)he needs using excel to scrape some data off the web, integrate it with private data, crunch some numbers, finally put his/her results into the appropriate corporate database under their name.

          Sometimes the code they produce is amazingly bad, that's an HR issue. Sometimes you find real financial engineering going on, VBA references to linear problem DLLs etc etc etc (for reference if you are currently IT/progamming and are REAL good at math you can get a B

          • What if the end user can produce what (s)he needs using excel to scrape some data off the web, integrate it with private data, crunch some numbers, finally put his/her results into the appropriate corporate database under their name. [VBA does this]

            The user would be better off learning perl or having an IT guy just make them a perl plugin for gnumeric. Perl is one of several languages gnumeric can use to manipulate data. A M$ specific language is something to avoid.

            Did'nt have ass scratching time res

            • I do have that kind of time. If you don't, it might have something to do with your choice of software.

              Come on, twit. Take the broader view. Do you really think anybody is truly reducing the complexity of modern software? Or are we all just pushing it around, hiding it in different corners and under different rugs? And if there was a silver bullet out there, wouldn't we all be using it by now?

              You can keep thumping your copy of The Cathedral and The Bazzar as if it were a Bible all you like. But until you

            • by kahei ( 466208 )
              The user would be better off learning perl

              Brilliant, classic slashdot and a great argument for outsourcing :)

      • I'm not doubting you, but for the sake of the discussion (as well as my own curiosity), do you have any examples of what Excel does that OOo doesn't?

        • VBA. (OpenOffice has its own scripting language, but you would be amazed how much is done with VBA that has to be rewritten in StarBasic.)

          Also Excel 2007 will support larger worksheets (65k columns x 1M rows) than OpenOffice did. OOo didn't even support 65k rows (the current limit of Excel 2003) until version 2.0.

          Blah blah databases are better blah blah open source blah blah.
        • by kahei ( 466208 )
          Nobody reads /. stories that are a whole 24 hours old, but...

          1 -- scriptability. Via VBA, obviously, but also via any other scripting system that can work with COM.
          2 -- embeddability. I can embed my application in Excel, and vice versa.

          These things enable Excel to be used as a highly flexible front-end to other applications, or as a monitor for real time data, or as a node in a distributed data streaming system. The applications that many ./-ers think of as 'Excel competitors' are basically doing the lea
      • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
        2 -- LOLz0rZ u use Ex-Hell!!!1! U shld get a real db like MySQL!!1!!

        L0LllERskateKopterS!!!! MySQhelL! !1 U 6ould get a REAL dB like PostgreSQL, Oracle, U shl2 own A SErvER CLUSTER!
      • 1 -- Check out OO.o Novell version. It tries very hard to do what Excel does (especially macro support).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Most businesses will keep using MS, but for home use I don't understand why more people use Open Office.
      • When your average person is buying a new PC, there's an "obligation" to pay the basic MS tax for Windows. Unless you're talking about the extremely price-conscious, a lot of these folks see the extra $100 for bundled Office as just another routine cost of buying a PC, since they "can't do homework/write a letter/view the spreadsheet from their CPA" without it.

        I know my dad, who is not an extremely savvy computer buyer, always pays for bundled Office, even if he still has the CDs for an older version. Basica
      • but for home use I don't understand why more people use Open Office.

        Because they got MSOffice free/cheap through work or a friend. My current valid/legal copy of MSOffice2003 Pro was $20. If I actually had to pay the $300 or whatever, not a chance. But for $20, why not.
        Yes, I use OO.o at home too. But I imagine most people wouldn't go through the bother if MSOffice were basically free as well.
    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      Five letters: RDBMS.

      I use MySQL. I hear PostGres is nice. There are many others which are free.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MeNeXT ( 200840 )
      Other systems can absorbe and truly surpass the work your compnay has done on excel. The choice was yours to limit, to tie your company into a closed system. Now your hoping someone will get you out. The limits are imposed by your software and your choices.

      My company's work is not tied into one vendor, it was more expensive at the start but today our work belongs to us. Now it costs us less.

      You should be asking why Excel limits you so, and not how someone will save you the bundle that it costs you to keep u
  • but not at work really. I think the idea of online applications is still to new for companies to embrace. Many companies go ages between upgrades and changes because they like to stick with what works. While down the road, it may become more viable, (2 years+) - for the time being I see companies sticking to install disks instead of login URL's.
  • Hmmmm, in a word, nope.
  • This Would Fail (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Businesses will buy the locally stored software. Individuals will use the free stuff online that comes from companies they know and trust online like Google. There's no room for Microsoft to go ad-based. It just won't work.
    • by Trails ( 629752 )
      It will when they take the "IE vs. Netscape" approach and innundate Windows users with links ad shortcuts to their software, and roll out OS-integrated featuers that google can't compete with.
    • Geeks trust Google. The average Joe is much more likely to trust Microsoft than Google. Microsoft is continually in Fortune's top 10 for customer admiration.
    • Individuals will use the free stuff online that comes from companies they know and trust online like Google

      The same individuals that mine the MS Office site for free templates, tutorials, clip art, etc? The same individuals that have been using MS Office for the last ten years?

  • Aside from the usual catchphrase associated with articles like that, the question runs deeper: Will the documents created that way be adhere to an open standard? Or do we get MS-specific formats for a vendor lock-in again? Will I be able to read those documents with a tool of my choice, or will we be facing the usual "guess the format" game 'til someone comes up with an OS solution?

    If he still may, patents and all considered.
    • I suspect that, given my (admittedly limited) experience with MS Works, the files generated probably won't be usable in MS Office (I remember a ton of docs from my girlfriend's install of MS Works that simply would not open at all in MS Word).

      Given that, I believe that you'll likely still have to buy MS Office if you want to open a .doc made in Word, and vice-versa.


  • by eikonoklastes ( 530797 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:36PM (#16161513) Journal
    Would you choose an ad-supported online version of Microsoft Office over other free options like OpenOffice or Google Apps for Your Domain?

    Of course we wouldn't. But then again, this is slashdot you're trying to troll.
  • by cyfer2000 ( 548592 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:37PM (#16161519) Journal
    Lost laptop computers won't be news worthy. What a boring world it will be.
  • Functionability. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mikesd81 ( 518581 ) <mikesd1@noSpaM.verizon.net> on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:38PM (#16161526) Homepage
    The question is what are the functions that will be offered? Will you be able to make big posters in the document program or make a chart a different sheet in the worksheet? Another question is how obtrusive will the ads be? Security is also a concern. If you can just logon to the internet and use a p/l to access the data, it's even easier to leak information by just giving out the information. I think I'll stick to in house operations where I can limit folders to certaion people only and such.
  • by Duncan3 ( 10537 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:38PM (#16161527) Homepage
    [Bill G] Muhahahahahahahahahhaha...

    [Steve B] Oh look, this guy is working on a patent for a new chair.

    [Bill G] Muhahahahahahahahahhaha...

    [Steve B] Yes Bill, now we'll have all their secrets, stop that.

    [Bill G] Muhahahahahahahahahhaha...

  • OK, I read TFA, and there's nothing here worth seeing.

    What's missing is the key ingredient: either give me the details of what they're actually planning to do, or tell me the value proposition of what they are mulling over. This article gives you neither. The crux of this story is that Microsoft is thinking of releasing Works as a free or subscription model. The idea of paying regularly for a web-based version of Microsoft's crippled Office stepchild, which many PC companies give away with $299 desktops

  • FUD campaign (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:39PM (#16161539)
    MS does this when competitors announce new products they hadn't thought of themselves. They suggest they're going to move into the market and essentially wipe out the competition. It's to keep the microsoft shops waiting for their product. It seems to take them about 3 years to come up with something worthwhile, if they ever do.

  • Google apps for your domain and M$ Office (if offered online) are different types of products.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:43PM (#16161573)
    Would you choose an ad-supported online version of Microsoft Office over other free options like OpenOffice or Google Apps for Your Domain?

    They're not even considering this!

    They're considering a version of Works, which, as anyone who has used it knows, is a middle-school level of Office, at best.

    If they actually do this, they'll look like hopeless noobs to anyone who compares their offering to Google's.
  • Will it be spyware/virus free? Or is that an optional feature you need to pay for?
  • In beta now (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grant,thompson ( 985589 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:47PM (#16161595)
    A coworker of mine is in the closed beta program for the online office applications. He says it is pretty slick. So, I would say they really are planning, instead of just 'mulling'.
  • by vhogemann ( 797994 ) <victor@hogemann.cTIGERom minus cat> on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:50PM (#16161613) Homepage

    Google strategy probably is use the feedback from their public betas, and free services, to devellop an WebAppliance that can be easly deployed at a business network, such as their nice Search appliance.

    I can see they releasing a document management system integrated with Google desktop, corporate Gmail,Search and their online office suite. Kind of a wiki were you can post webpages, documents an sheets that can be collaboratively edited online... everything nicely packaged on a 1U blue box ;-)

    Also, somewhere, someone is already thinking about an OpenOffice plugin, or KDE KioSlave, or Gnome GFSplugin, that will make it possible edit these online documents directly from Write/Calc, KWrite/KSpread and Abiword/Gnumeric... And this will be the killer feature that will make MSOffice obsolete.

    Mark my words... Microsoft couldn't take Google out of the search business, but Google has a good chance of taking the corporate office business crown from Microsoft.
    • by AVryhof ( 142320 )
      I hope so!

      I've been saying this since Google Spreadsheet was mentioned on Slashdot a few months ago.

      I would rather see it on an Intranet/VPN than on Google/MS Servers. I'm sure there are plenty of companies who would like this as well.

      Even better, go the last step, make it so a company can tie Google Calendar, Writely (Google Word Processor now?), Spreadsheet, Gmail for domains, etc into a nice Web-Based CRM Interface.

      Support the Office document formats, OpenDoc, HTML, and PDF.

      Companies want teams! They wa
    • Egroupware, webdav pretty much do what you suggest. A 500 quid turnkey box would be ideal for small businesses, add a web accounts package and you've got everything a small business needs to run.

      You can set up a system like that in a couple of days.

  • Even though the article lacks any useful information, it does say basic versions of its word processing and spreadsheet software and "Works."

    Of course this won't affect MS business software license revenue. Without PowerPoint, the macro support, and or even full document interoperability with real MS Office documents, the desktop version Microsoft Works isn't even a replacement for Office, let alone a web-based version of Works.

  • If they offer a version with all the recent features stripped out, there will be an unintended consequence. It will finally prove conclusively whether users cared about anything that was added after Word for Windows 2.0.
  • If I were a corporate leadership, the last thing I would want is to have my employees distracted by ads. I'd pay the tiny fee for the *actual* product. Very small compared to salaries, even if you're underpaying. A distracted worker is a bad worker (why do we send them to so many meetings?!)
  • by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @12:54PM (#16161642)
    30 second Flash commercials in any cell with a formula...

    At least it will answer the longstanding question:

    K23: =Revenue
    K25: =Profit!
  • Would you choose an ad-supported online version of Microsoft Office over other free options like OpenOffice or Google Apps for Your Domain?

    Assuming the files were identical to Office files, this would be a nice option. I could work "online" on the documents, and then if I was traveling or otherwise disconnected from the net, I could pull the files down and work on them on my laptop, then push them back up when I regained connectivity. Of course the files would have to be *identically* formatted. If I had
  • Technology moves fast in our business and there are numerous stories over the years of companies that tried to "manage" transitions that are now gone (Wang). The market moves at its own pace and if you are worried about what making a move will do to your business, you are looking at the wrong thing, because if you can do it to your business so can someone else. There is ONLY one option in these business and it is simple "If you don't cannibalize your own business, someone else will do it for you".
  • I've been trying out 'google mail for your domain', and I quite like it. However, what I would really like is the option to pay for it as that would at least give me some leverage if something was to go wrong.

    Hopefully I just need to wait for it to come out of beta.
  • I'm sure I remember breathless articles in PC Weak and the like in the late 90s (around the time of the release of IE4) that they were going to be porting Office and a load of other stuff to fully ActiveX-based web-hosted services. This crops up every few years at Microsoft - cf the current, soon to be abortive, attempt with ".live", or whatever it's called. No-one will use it, and it will be quietly canned after a few years.
  • Some things just shouldn't be run across a network. File storage? Fine (local network). Email? Fine. The apps themselves, over the Internet, even? No way. I don't have that level of trust in the network, it's just not as reliable as the software on my local disk (especially when factors like, say... Comcast* are involved). I wouldn't even use OpenOfficeOnline if there were such a thing.

    To sum up, quoting the Verizon guy: "It's the network."

    * Comcastic == teh suck.

  • Would you choose an ad-supported online version of Microsoft Office over other free options like OpenOffice or Google Apps for Your Domain?"


    Long Answer:

    Why in the world would someone use something from Microsoft over the web when even their compiled, local versions have a horrible reputation?

    I think that the main reason people pay of MS products now is that there is SOME support for it. I'm sure the web version will be "here's the help file; now, go away".

  • Maybe not with 2k7, but you can bet on the fact that they have plans for this sort of thing. In the current situation there are TONS of pirated office products lying around. With the subscription/web model you can't really steal it as easily. Worst case scenario you can share accounts among people, but all you have to do is kill one session if that user re-logs in. Having an ad-based version will bring in a fair bit of revenue from people who would have normally 'borrowed' a copy from work anyways. I b
  • Quick (Score:3, Funny)

    by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Friday September 22, 2006 @02:21PM (#16162281) Homepage Journal
    Someone patent "animated paperclip in a popup web window" and make yourself a bundle of money.
  • on offering a service similar to Salesforce.com? I heard this rumor a good six months ago, but nothing since. Could be it's still in development, but I would have expected MS to trot this one out every quarter or so, just to keep Google (and Oracle) nervous....
  • Didn't Microsoft announce the Office Live initiative long ago? The Slashdot summary makes it sound like Microsoft is following Google, when it's the opposite in this case.
  • > Would you choose an ad-supported online version of Microsoft Office over other free options like OpenOffice or Google Apps for Your Domain?"

    No. Thanks for asking. Unless someone can explain to me why OpenOffice doesn't cut it.
  • people are predictable, and I know so many people who would chose an online ad-supported spyware-infested MS Office over OpenOffice, Writely, or anything else... just bc they used it before...
  • In the same sentence? This is, needless to say, a trap.
  • I haven't seen anyone else in this discussion mentioning what is to me the most obvious problem with a web-based office suite, namely that only about 15-16% of people in the first world have broadband (extrapolated from OECD stats [oecd.org]). I mean, duh? Who on dial-up is going to opt for web-based over locally installed software?
  • Why would I want to use free open source software, when I can do my work over the internet and share it with at least one third party?

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser