Bionicoder's Blog

Windows software development and business blog

Archive for March, 2009

Ad-Supported Version of Microsoft Office 14 May be Available

Posted by bionicoder on March 22, 2009

On Feb 24th 2009, I posted an article asking that Will Microsoft consider ad-supported software model again? Now this will become true. On March 3rd, Microsoft Business Division president Stephen Elop said Microsoft would release an ad-supported version of Microsoft Office 14 — Office 14 is expected to be available in 2010. Elop said the purpose behind releasing a free version of Microsoft Office with ads displayed alongside the workspace was to draw “pirate customers into the revenue stream.” according to Silicon Valley Insider.

As my analysis in previous article, this would be Microsoft strategy to compete with Open Source and freeware. It is not only for fighting software piracy. Then what would be Open Source ‘s response to this? Will Open Source follow Microsoft to use ad-supported model as well?

One thing we can predict is more and more software companies will follow Microsoft to put ads on their software in the future. No matter you like it or not, this is the trend driven by competition.

Posted in ad-supported, Software, Software Business | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Three Ways to Monetize Freeware

Posted by bionicoder on March 4, 2009

Some developers make freeware just for giving back to Internet community without considering any money back. I give my respects to those developers. For other freeware developers (maybe high percentage) who also want to make money from freeware. I summarize three popular ways to monetize freeware for your reference.

This is not for companies who use freeware to attract customers. For example, I know many security companies use free anti spyware or similar security tools to attract customer. When customer download their tool, it reports that your Windows has many malware running, if you want to remove them, you need to pay for the advanced feature.

Software as a Service(SaaS) Model

The implication of SaaS is software delivered as freeware. Your revenue comes from service provided following the software. The successful freeware or open source using this model are MySQL, JBoss, Apache and Spring. As you can see, this model better fits the freeware or open source which targets enterprise customer.

Also this model has high requirement for the development team. The team needs to be dedicated and have enough experience and skills for high quality product. The quality is the key for having ideal customer base.

Ad-supported Model

The ad-supported model better fits consumer software. The idea is simple. Software works like a media carrying ads. Software is offered for free. Revenue comes from advertising on software GUI. The ad-supported model I am talking about here is NOT equal to malicious adware. What I am talking about is like Yahoo Messenger bundle with ads on the GUI bottom.

The challenges for developers considering Ad-Supported model are:

  1. the ads inventory.
  2. It is hard for 100,000 user base software to get constant ads from advertiser

  3. ads management
  4. It is extra work to manage ads delivery

The available market solution is Younexus advertising solution for software application. What Younexus does for software is like what Google Adsense does for website. Younexus feed ads to software participating their program.

In addtion, Younexus requirements for software joining their program is software should not contain virus or any malware.

Selling traffic Model

This model requires you have enough patience because it will take longer time till you see revenue come in. The way it works is you offer software for free and wait for other website to add link to your website if they like it. Ideally you get bigger and bigger traffic, then you can get benefits from your website advertising.  This article explains how this model works in detail.

This model works for software with unique and special technique. For such kind of freeware, people like it because of its uniqueness. They can’t think of anything else once they need use the special functionality. For example, when you want to zip a file, the only one you can think of is WinZip.

How about if you wan to find out a FTP tool? They are many free FTP client tools available. It is too common.

Posted in ad-supported, Software, Software Business | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »