Feeds

Microsoft – it’s only marketing

So that's all right then

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

An interesting set of responses have already come in to the article here about Microsoft charging for Office beta downloads.

The comments already attached to it I will let stand for themselves, but a couple of emails I have received are of interest: one because it appeals to the naturally occurring improbable-conspiracy-theorist in me, and the other because it may contain a genuine, and slightly underhand, marketing reason for the move to start charging.

Firstly, the conspiracy theory. I am grateful to Jez for the suggestion that "Bill Gates is actually the world's biggest Linux advocate, but due to the potential for a political nightmare if he just said this, he is being sneaky and trying his best to make windows so un-workable that people are forced to switch to the superior OS."

I suppose it could be true.

The second email, however, may contain more to ponder. Roger Thomas works in the finance industry, and brought to my attention what might just be the real, marketing-driven reason behind the move.

By making people pay, Microsoft will garner a great deal of valuable information about them – names, addresses, valid email addresses etc – all types of information that marketing departments move heaven and earth to acquire.

But as companies like Microsoft move towards the subscription model for revenue generation, rather than the cash-up-front comfort of the outright purchase of licences, identifying customers with ownership of a valid and functional credit card – presumably to which some form of "regular payments" order can be attached – is important information.

Couple this with a proven penchant for being an "early adopter" – and actually shelling out money for a beta copy of Office would be just such a sign – and suddenly Microsoft has, Roger Thomas speculates, information that is "worth its weight in gold".

Perhaps we all ought to start singing that old Hollies hit, "King Midas in Reverse" as a protective incantation. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?