Posted July 31, 2007 9:24 am by with 7 comments

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It seems Microsoft’s not quite sure whether they do truly wish to give away Microsoft Works 9.0 for free or not. First reports suggested that Satya Nadella, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Search & Advertising Platform Group, told Mary Jo Foley that an ad-supported version of Microsoft’s stripped down version of Office would be available soon.

Nadella added that Works will be just “the first of the ad-funded software we are going to do.” When I asked for other examples of products might decide to make free and ad-funded, he mentioned Office Accounting Express – a product which is currently available as both a free download and as a component of certain Office Live paid subscriptions. He also said software downloads/shareware was another category ripe with products that could be free and ad-funded.

Unfortunately, we can’t find any details of the new version and even ZDNet can’t get Microsoft to clarify their own VP’s comments.

The official comment, via a Microsoft spokeswoman: “We’re always looking at innovative ways to provide the best productivity tools to our customers, but have nothing to announce at this time.”

So, I guess we can assume that it’s coming but that Nadella maybe jumped the gun with the announcement. Still, it’s going to make for an interesting battle with Google’s own Docs and Spreadsheets. Both are free, but one is a web based solution while the other is a software platform. Will Google still grow its audience or, with all things being free, will users prefer to have software on their own computer?

What do you think?

  • Aaron

    I haven’t used Works for years, due to problems of file compatibility between Works and Office (which seemed designed to force people, whenever possible, to upgrade to Office). The only versions I have ever used were bundled, so although not technically “free” they were included in the cost of the computer. If the compatibility issues are not gone, free or not, Works has no appeal to me.

  • Pingback: Zoli’s Blog » Blog Archive » Microsoft Works 9 Ad-Supported, Free()

  • i think that is impossible.

  • Microsoft should give something for FREE finaly.

  • Darryll Bagg

    Works is the most abhorent of Microsoft’s ‘products’. It is deliberately crippled software that is PURPOSELY not compatible between versions. Any IT person will tell you that users will ship a document created by it and need it ‘upgraded’ to Word (or whatever). You end up searching all over for the exact version of Works used to create the document and then installing it, opening the document, cutting and pasting… Personally, I consider Works to be Malware. Microsoft should be sued for ever creating it.

  • Amirz

    and it’s free adds!

  • I’ve hated Microsoft Programs for years. Now that the open source world is booming, a lot of good stuff has come out….if your looking for a good, free, and fully functional replacement for Works and Office, try OpenOffice. It’s the bees knees and have turned all my colleages and friends on to it. Check it at i believe.

    The Net of Inter’s last blog post..Best Free for Life Security Software