A recent CNET article covering Bill Gates discussions surrounding new services, Windows Live and Office Live drive home the Internet services revolution that we’re currently experiencing – some call it WWW version 2. An Internet of rich collaboration, community and communication services. The CNET quote is…
Gates said Microsoft is working on two products, "Windows Live" and "Office Live," that create opportunities for the company to sell online subscriptions and advertising. Both are targeted at smaller businesses and consumers.
The products won’t replace the company’s ubiquitous operating system or productivity suite, and people don’t need to have that software loaded to tap into the Web versions. "They are not required to use Windows or Office," Gates said at a press event here.
Is his initiative design to compete with Googles rumoured offering of OpenOffice for the web? Gates said that Windows Live is a set of Internet-based personal services, such as e-mail, blogging and instant messaging. It will be primarily supported by advertising and be separate from the operating system itself. Office Live will come in both ad-based and subscription versions that augment the popular desktop productivity suite. "This advertising model has emerged as a very important thing," Gates said.
These could be very interesting offerings…reminiscent of Application Service Providers (ASP) five years ago.