Microsoft preps first ad-supported client software pilot Page: 1
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Microsoft preps first ad-supported client software pilot

In what can only be described as 'interesting' to say the least, Microsoft appear to be readying an ad-supported Office app for pilot. Whilst Microsoft' Office will not be the guinea pig for the pilot, it appears that the oft overlooked Microsoft Works is to be the test subject.

Microsoft Works SE 9 will be available in two flavors: standard and ad-supported. Ad-supported versions of Works will be available from OEMs "over the next few months," and the pilot is currently scheduled to last through the middle of next year, according to a statement from a Microsoft spokeswoman. There are no plans to distribute the ad-supported version online or in stores.  In the meantime, Microsoft will size up whether or not there is a real opportunity here for ad-supported software. The software will feature advertising content that is updated when users are connected to the Internet, but it will continue to show ads even when not connected. As a middle man, Microsoft will make money serving and tracking the ads through its own advertising platform.

In an attempt to steer clear of possible privacy issues, Microsoft has reportedly stated that the ads will not be based upon contextual analysis.

Perhaps to assuage privacy concerns, Microsoft will not be using contextual analysis to place ads, saying that "appropriate ad placement will be based on general Works users demographics." Microsoft says that it "will not use any content information to serve ads or personally identify customers."

Considering that Microsoft Works currently retails for around the US$40 mark, it'll be interesting to see where Redmond pitch the pricing scheme for the ad-supported version.

Does ad-supported software appeal to you?

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