Microsoft Works to become a free, ad-funded product

Posted by sumeethevans on July 31 2007, 12:49 AM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft’s next version of its small-business/home productivity suite, due imminently, will be free and ad-funded.

Microsoft Works 9.0 — which will be the new product’s name, if Microsoft opts to stick with its current nomenclature — might also debut at some point as Microsoft-hosted low-end productivity service, as many have been speculating. A hosted version of Works would give Microsoft a head-to-head competitor with Google Docs & Spreadsheets and other consumer- and small-business focused services, analysts have said.

For the time being, however, the new version of Works will be ad-funded, according to Satya Nadella, the newly minted Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Search & Advertising Platform Group. Nadella told me during an interview on July 27 that Microsoft recently released the new ad-funded version of Microsoft Works.

If Works 9.0 is out, I haven’t found it yet — other than a couple download links on torrents and other sharing sites. Anyone else seen it?

(I’ve asked Microsoft for more information on the new ad-funded Works suite. No word back yet. Update:  Even though Microsoft’s own vice president discussed the product, no one will talk. The official comment, via a Microsoft spokeswoman: “We’re always looking at innovative ways to provide the best productivity tools to our customers, but have nothing to announce at this time.”)

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