Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Windows and office live -- Live or let die?

At a press conference earlier today in San Francisco, Chairman Bill Gates kicks off Microsoft's "live software" push. He detailed the upcoming "Windows Live" and "Office Live" products (software and services that are delivered across the Internet rather than distributed via normal wholesale/retail channels).

Gates told the audience the new product offerings are based on the experience and findings the Microsoft has gained vis a vis MSN live (which will persist in spite of the new product lineup).

The new products are based on an advertising and subscription model, sort of like a modified Google approach. Let’s take a look at the products:

Windows live:
  • Internet-based personal services to bring together your digital world
  • Centered on the individual
  • Communication, information, protection
  • Separate from Windows
  • MSN.com continues as programmed content portal
  • Primarily ad-supported

Office live:

  • Internet-based service for growing and managing your business online
  • Online presence, business automation, collaboration (Sharepoint-like)
  • Initial target is small business
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Office, can also work independently
  • Extensible platform
  • Multiple subscription and ad-supported offerings
It is going to be interesting to see if this is something that is going to enhance the Microsoft customer experience or just cut their bottom-line revenue from traditional Office-like products.


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