Monday, August 6, 2007

E-marketing Article #2

Microsoft Tosses Ads Into the Works
By Katherine Noyes
E-Commerce Times

Microsoft is launching a pilot program to test a free, advertising funded version of Microsoft Works. It’s called Microsoft Works SE9, and it will be a desktop program instead of a web-hosted program. Recently we talked about how companies were starting to see how effective online advertising can be, and how it can be tailored to the interests of your target market. Microsoft is on of the companies considering advertising as another revenue stream for their company. They recently purchased aQuantive, which is a company that helps marketers reach their target markets through digital marketing services. No doubt they helped produce the ads that will be seen in the SE9 version of Microsoft Works. I’m curious to see how the test market will react to this product. In this age of people doing almost anything to get out of watching advertisements, do they really think people will buy a wordprocessing, spreadsheet program with ads in it that you can’t avoid just because it’s cheap? The program will retail for $39.95, which is great compared to Microsoft Office, which ranges in price from $149 to $679. Consumers will also have the option of buying it preinstalled on their PC’s, which makes it virtually free. However, there should be some concern about the brand equity in the Microsoft name, and whether this product will decrease it in any way. People purchase these products because of the service they provide. They are able to get their work done offline in an advertisement-free environment. Now Microsoft wants us to deal with advertisements offline as well. Fortunately this is just a test for now. Here is a link to the article….

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