The News – Ad-supported Windows and desktop apps? at http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/index.php?p=2156
The skeptic – Advertising isn’t enough to fund on-demand at http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=56
The supporter – The ads are coming, the ads are coming at http://blogs.zdnet.com/carroll/index.php?p=1513
My problem with this whole advertisement supported business model buzz is what “the skeptic” summarizes in the following statement:
… the world does not revolve around advertising, it revolves around trade. Businesses need to be able to make and sell stuff before they have any money left over to spend on advertising.
In fact, I am not so particularly wondering about the viability of Microsoft’s business model. If nothing else, it might put them in a better situation than helplessly watching the piracy of their products. But for the other firms looking at the advertisements as the sole source of revenue – I have serious doubts.
And as for the magic of “Context-sensitive” advertisement, I think the skeptic’s first point is also very well made (why did I not think of this? 😦 ) –
… ads in applications don’t work. All the evidence from the past ten years of online services is that the more engaged the user is in pursuing an activity, the less likely their attention will be diverted by an ad. The sole exception, which of course is why Google AdWords has been so spectacularly successful, is search, for the simple reason that clicking on relevant ads is a natural extension of the search activity.