Small Businesses Tolerate Ads for Free Software


WSJ looks at the growing trend of small businesses who are bypassing costly software in favor of free, online alternatives that make money by showing ads. They point to the fact that consumers have been using such services for years (free email, MapQuest, etc).

.."free" is beginning to prove a powerful draw for some technology managers who have decided to run business tasks like word-processing and network management on free Web-based services that come with ads.


"It's been a question for everybody, including Google," says Dave Girouard, general manager for Google's enterprise business. "Is there a market for ad-supported software, and if so, who will use it and who won't?"

Would you? Do you use any free programs for anything important or mission critical?

Link to the WSJ article here (free - no sub required)


I use Gmail...

but some partners still prefer outlook. I am working on trying to modernize them though.

Would these be the same

Would these be the same small businesses who spend $10k/month on advertising in trade publications, but get their mate Dave down the pub to build their website?


I never use add based software.

I don't like the fact that when using add based software I don't have control over the software and in most cases add based software does not have the all the features of the fully licensed program.

If I were to see any company I did business with using add based software, I think the company in question would go down in my estimation and I would rethink using that company in the future.

banner blindness is your friend

We use gmail at the real estate company. It's working just fine and though I could rip the ads out of it using one of several available methods (I mandate FF), I see no need as banner blindness has set in and that doesn't require maintenance. In fact, I installed one extension and purposely left the "remove Google ads" unticked because ad viewing/clicking is such a non-issue. They've also experimented with the G docs for collaboration --I'm guessing there are ads there, too.

Not just small businesses

Not just small businesses. People too.

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