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Subscription and ad-supported versions of Office applications in the cards

For many computer users around the world when they think of typing a letter or a research paper, the first thing they think of is Word from Microsoft’s Office suite. The problem for buyers of new computers is that the application typically doesn’t come with a new computer and Office costs in the area of $400 for some versions.

In light of the high price for software that many people simply don’t utilize completely, there are a number of open source alternatives taking some of Microsoft’s thunder away because they are free – applications like OpenOffice and Google Docs for example. Google Docs is especially becoming more interesting to users looking for a Microsoft Office alternative thanks to its recently added offline functionality.

To try and gain back some of what it perceives to be market loss, Microsoft is said to be looking at new business models for its Office applications. According to PC World, Microsoft is considering two new access methods for Office applications including a subscription based model and a free ad-supported version of Microsoft Works.

Exactly what the pricing would be on a subscription version of Microsoft Office is unknown, but as PC World points out it would have to be under $33 per month to remain competitive with the straight purchase option. Many would have a hard time stomaching a subscription-based model.

Microsoft is also reported to be pilot testing an ad-supported version of Microsoft Works that could be provided on new PCs at no change in exchange for having to put up with ads. How exactly the ads would be presented is unknown. Some sort of a quasi-unobtrusive permanent ad space like you see in some versions of the Eudora mail application might not be too bad.



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RE: Ad support Office would be wonderful
By Screwballl on 4/21/2008 7:49:01 PM , Rating: 1
whats the point of pirating it? OpenOffice (OOo) is free so there is no need to pirate it. It works better and is stable compared to any release of MSO that I have ever used. I have used pretty much every version since 97 and every single one has crashed on me and many of my customers on a regular basis... yet OpenOffice has not once crashed in any of these cases.
The only people I see spending money on MSO are the ones that really like to waste money. There is nothing MSO can do that OOo can't. Wow, pretty ribbons, MSO may be prettier now but does not have any extended functionality above OOo... anything anyone says is a MSO only option can be done in OOo.


By ImSpartacus on 4/21/2008 8:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
What about putting custom links into the left side of the Open/Save window? I constantly use a flashdrive and I absolutely love having a giant button right there by desktop and My Documents for me to simply click and be done with it.

This isn't huge, but it's the little things that count. The learning curve was also troublesome for me (but that is my problem).


By nitrous9200 on 4/21/2008 10:23:54 PM , Rating: 3
While OpenOffice covers most of the bases in terms of features and functionality, it's still not quite there. There's plenty of things Office does that OO can't, and Office has a much nicer and easier to use GUI, something that I appreciate a lot (one reason I like Vista compared to XP). And OpenOffice has crashed on me the same number of times, or more, than Office. OO is great to load on a system to give it a good suite of programs for free, but it's still not Office.


By mdbrotha03 on 4/21/2008 11:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only people I see spending money on MSO are the ones that really like to waste money.


Or those in the US Army that can buy the Ultimate version for 20 bucks.


By FITCamaro on 4/22/2008 7:24:59 AM , Rating: 3
Open Office is nowhere near as good as MS Office. I use it on a spare PC that I just want the ability to open Office documents with. Other than that, no.

Besides, I paid $20 for my copy of Office 2007 through a program at work. Many professionals have this option through their company.

Then there's also the Student edition. Microsoft was even offering the ultra mega version of Office with all the business stuff for like $70. I believe that promotion is still going on. You just have to have a .edu email address to get it.


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