Microsoft Office Live To Be Advertising Supported
Microsoft is going to be offering a ‘live’ hosted version of MS Office, dubbed Office Live, which may strike down any threat which Google & Sun Microsystems are working on. Then again, maybe not. Chairman Bill Gates, in an invitation only event, outlined the API based MSN “live software” initiative which aims to make software a service, linking all digital media, applications and devices.
With small businesses and local government offices switching from costly licensing fees of Microsoft Office to more cost effective alternatives such as OpenOffice.org, Microsoft is targeting its Office Live to this market segment.
Office Live, which will be available for beta testing in Q1 2006 via invitation only to MSN Network member businesses, is targeted towards businesses with less than 10 employees. The web based software will provide web, email, collaborative, analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. The service may not, however, be as robust as Microsoft Office.
Office Live and Windows Live will be supported by MSN AdCenter generated advertising revenue, though Microsoft, in its old school fashion, may later offer paid subscriptions. “We have scratched the surface in the analytics we can bring to bear,” MS CTO Ray Ozzie said. “The breadth of audience and seamlessness of experience … can make a difference. AdCenter will serve relevant offers on the web and in live software on mobile devices and enterprise devices.”