Microsoft: Free desktop apps for you?

by admin November 15, 2005 at 3:48 pm

It could yet happen…

Microsoft has been mulling a plan to offer free, ad-supported versions of some of its desktop products.

Although no specific plans have been made, executives within Microsoft are examining whether it makes sense to release ad-supported versions of products such as Works, Money, or even the Windows operating system itself, according to internal documents.

In a paper presented to company executives earlier this year two Microsoft researchers and an MSN employee wrote: “As web advertising grows and consumer revenues shrink, we need to consider creating ad-supported versions of our software.”

The document was prepared for one of Microsoft’s twice-yearly Thinkweek exercises, in which chairman Bill Gates and other top executives gather to consider potential new avenues for the company to follow.

Microsoft officials confirmed the authenticity of the paper, dated winter 2005, but declined to comment on its contents. However, a Microsoft source characterised the paper as an internal brainstorming exercise.

Full article: