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Microsoft Announces Ad-Supported Web-based Applications

Confronting Google and Yahoo head on, Microsoft yesterday introduced two new ad-supported web services - Windows Live and Office Live - which will deliver applications and services to businesses and consumers directly via the web, without their having to download the applications, thus extending Microsoft's reach beyond the desktop PC to smart phones and other internet-connected devices, reports the New York Times.

Microsoft will have free and paid offerings on Windows Live and Office Live, with advertising-supported basic services. It will try to "upsell" customers more advanced and feature-rich services. And it will rely on its recently developed AdCenter advertising system to serve up ads.

Windows Live includes email, instant messaging and anti-virus programs; Office Live is an internet-based extension of Outlook, Excel and Live Meeting, writes AdWeek.

Microsoft executives said they intended to take on both Google and Yahoo by making advertising-supported services the core of a new web-based software business. Cofounder Bill Gates said new internet-based technologies were creating an era of "live software" that would not reside within any particular computer or mobile device.

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