Leaked Documents from MSFT Tell of Future Plans


Spreading like wildfire throughout the web are leaked documents from Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie documenting Microsoft's plans to disrupt the software market by introducing services. Dave Winer has published the leaked email from Gates and the memo from Ozzie.

The documents point to MSFT's plans to use advertising as the revenue model disruptive services.

The broad and rich foundation of the internet will unleash a "services wave" of applications and experiences available instantly over the internet to millions of users. Advertising has emerged as a powerful new means by which to directly and indirectly fund the creation and delivery of software and services along with subscriptions and license fees. Services designed to scale to tens or hundreds of millions will dramatically change the nature and cost of solutions deliverable to enterprises or small businesses.

The email and memo are definitely worth a careful read. Looks like the market for web-based applications that disrupt desktop software apps is getting hot, and the biggest players on the web are aggressively competing for their piece.


Being pick up in mainstream media

The Times has an analysis of this these memos now.

And this one from the Financial Times picks up a few good points.

I always wonder with this sort of leak, if its not deliberate from the top of m$, rather than disgruntled from the bottom.

my thoughts as well

that's what i was thinking as well -- deliberate from the top. this thing is going to get a lot of attention simply because it was "leaked."

Advertising has emerged ?

So it took them over 7 years to figure out that online ads can fund a company and software development?

This is nothing new, it's nothing that recently "emerged", they just pulled their heads out of the sand (I was gonna say ARSE but took pity on the old windbag) and took notice of what Yahoo, Google and many others have been doing for years.

When I knew Ray Ozzie his only claim to fame was that buggy bloated Lotus Notes and it took a big team years to debug it but the Lotus people worshipped him like a false god, it was sad, I refused to bow down. Notes was one of the few products back in the early 90s that not only required its own server cause it was so dog slow but it also required a dedicated administrator just to keep it hobbling along.

Love this idiotic quote:

In 1990, there was actually a question about whether the graphical user interface had merit.

There was no question whatsoever unless you had your head in the sand [arse] then too.

Not surprising it took him this long to figure out you can make as much from advertising as from subscribers.

I wonder where all the other human speed bumps I knew at Lotus have migrated?

You go Ray, have fun at Microslop.

i actually wonder if an

i actually wonder if an ad-based revenue model is best for msft. google and sun appear to be headed down the same path of creating a web-based office (yes they're not their yet but looks like it could be in the works), and google is built to deliver contextual ads; that's what they do best. also, i think their recent patent filing may help them in terms of protecting their method of delivering time-sensitive contextual ads.

IMO msft might be better suited at offering a subscription-based model that is more high end (i.e. corporate clients).

Corp clients?

IMO msft might be better suited at offering a subscription-based model that is more high end (i.e. corporate clients)

I don't think most corporations would allow all of their sensitive documents to be stored elsewhere unless MS releases this as an intranet product as well. Heck, it doesn't even make sense to try to bastardize their biggest market for those products.

Now offering small businesses, SOHOs, and individuals a subscription service with automatic backups and other infrastructure management probably has some merit.

It doesn't really say anything, does it?

Yeah, it's just propaganda -- probably for stockholders.

So it took them over 7 years

So it took them over 7 years to figure out that online ads can fund a company and software development?

I think that's a tad oversimplified Bill. The theory is nothing new but the current market is.

There may be several reasons why an "obvious" move isn't possible and one of them is market-size. Now the market is demonstrably large enough to warrant the R&D and start-up costs needed to enter a mainstream demographic and still leave a profit (on paper at least).

MS and advertising

MSN certainly know how much money there is in advertising, they have been spending on and receiving revenue from advertising since the beginning. As far as corporate clients, they will provide the server software for corp clients to install on their own systems I imagine. Also subscription software is likely to be written by microsoft but hosted and supported by ISPs like with the Exchange server and business app subscriptions you can get now.

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