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Is Microsoft late?

Posted by bionicoder on May 4, 2009

There were many discussions about Microsoft ad-supported Office 14 available next year.  One point is that Microsoft is 5 years late to offer free version of products. Is that true?

I don’t see this as Microsoft arriving late. I see it more as Microsoft waiting until the right time. They will no doubt make more money selling the product, than presenting ads on it. I imagine Microsoft have been waiting for the right metrics in the market share before offering the ad supported version.

Not to go off topic, but I see this as a way of clawing back users who have moved to OpenOffice or other free office suites. Making something has to be better than making nothing.  If Microsoft can get these users back to the MS office, they will keep the leading position.

OpenOffice still can not compete with Microsoft Office from user experience and functionality perspective. They used to be an alternative if users can’t afford to or not willing to buy office products. OpenOffice has been successful because of its “free” strategy. But it will lose its advantage if free Microsoft Office available. Unless OpenOffice can make money either from ads (ad-supporte OpenOffice?) or whatever other ways to do better marketing and product improvement, I don’t know how OpenOffice can compete with Microsoft Office next year


One Response to “Is Microsoft late?”

  1. Broox Best said

    One important point you left out: Many people have migrated to OpenOffice (myself since it was StarOffice) because of the bloated nature of Microsoft products. MS Office is as bloated as office suites come, and this makes it next to impossible to find – intuitively – your way around the menuing system.

    I’ve developed a lot of user interface software in my career. Office takes the cake for being totally backwards and difficult to navigate, you can’t find anything without already knowing where it is. These were the main reasons I quit using office in the mid 90’s.

    Whether or not OpenOffice starts charging or using adware, MS Office is not an alternative, even if it’s free. Free bad software is still bad…

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