03 August 2007

A Free Office?

Microsoft, benevolent ruler of all that is technology, announced yesterday that its next version of Works* (9, for those keeping score at home) will be available for some consumers as a pre-installed, advert-packed freebie on new PCs... which is effectively what it is now anyway, except for the adverts bit.

Why do I find this interesting? Aside from it following in the slip-stream of Google Docs & Spreadsheets (web-based) and the veteran Open Office (open-source, hard drive installed), the initiative is to see whether a new business model could be found to support the funding of software (or so the last line of this story hints - and the Yahoo! story linked to above also implies) which obviously has implications for other applications developed by Microsoft - or even others. Could we see a free (or at least subsidised) version of Office in the future, provided we could put up with the adverts?

* A piss-poor version of Microsoft Office which is good enough if you're not interested in doing anything really advanced.

1 comment:

Graham said...

I've been using OpenOffice for ages, and find it more than up to the task. Having also used the current vesrion, and most previous versions, of MS Office (and hated most of them), I can not understand why anyone would pay the inflated price when all of the essential (and even most of the non-essential) functionality is available perfectly legally for precisely nowt.

Funny old world...