Microsoft Business Division President Jeff Raikes described several ways in which the company plans to get more people using and paying for its Office 2007 productivity software.
Toward the end of his presentation, Raikes gave one of the strongest indications from the company recently about its plans to expand into Web-based productivity software, an area where competitors have made early inroads. It's already setting the stage for this effort with small businesses through Office Live, a suite of online services that now has more than 400,000 users signed up.
"With our software plus services approach, we're going to use Office Live as a foundation to broaden our scope to all information workers, all people who would use Office. And we are investing substantially in Web productivity as a complement to what we do in our traditional Office productivity. We've got some exciting things coming out this year. That's where I'll leave that," Raikes said.
The strategies he outlined for increasing Office 2007 sales include working with OEMs to get trial versions of Office installed on new PCs, which can then become full, paid versions.
Microsoft is also fighting Office piracy with a carrot rather than the stick used with Windows. Users of the genuine software get access to additional capabilities through Office Online.