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BizReport : Advertising archives : August 02, 2007

Microsoft launches ad-supported software

Microsoft is to launch its first ad-supported software via distributing it, pre-installed, on new PCs.

by Helen Leggatt

Distribution of Microsoft's first ad-supported software, Works, will be tested via pre-installation on new PCs and not, as widely speculated, online. There has been no mention, as yet, of which PC brands will feature the ad-supported software.

Google already offers free ad-supported software with 'Google Docs and Spreadsheets', and speculation has been rife as to whether Microsoft would enter the scene. But, as yet, Microsoft has not commented on the possibility of a web-based ad-supported version of Works coming out anytime soon.

Delivered by the same ad platform as Microsoft uses for and, the ads will be tailored to a general profile of Works users and not based on user data feed back via Works. That is to say, if a user is typing up an essay on Egypt on Work's word-processer program, they won’t suddenly be served ads touting trips to the Pyramids.

Ads will be displayed whether a user is off- or online, updating whenever the user logs on to the Internet. The size of each ad will depend on the context in which it’s being viewed.

According to Melissa Stern, a senior product manager in the Microsoft Office group, this test project will be monitored to ascertain its effectiveness as an advertising medium and to see what users make of the experience.

Tags: ad-supported software, Google, Microsoft, Works

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