This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

#Digitalskeptic: Microsoft Flirts with Free Software

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nikkia Carter figures the best shot at making money selling Microsoft Office 365 is to give it all away.

"It does not help me get revenues," Carter told me over the phone from her King George, Va., office. She owns Carter-McGowan Services, a software development and training shop that's manages the coding needs of small and nonprofit firms.

"It helps me get more seats so Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) will start referring me more leads," she said. "And that drives my services business."

McGowan, a wily former Booz Allen Hamilton technology consultant, is riding a peculiar wave surging from software giant Microsoft: Low or no-cost versions of flagship software products that are offered in the hope of driving other businesses.

Carter says that, starting about a month ago, she took advantage of new, free pricing options from Microsoft that allowed her to give away powerful versions of Office 365, Redmond's red-hot by-month subscription-based Web riff on Windows. Though most of her new clients are smaller nonprofits and educational institutions -- no enterprises or bigger firms yet qualify for the free deal from Microsoft -- Carter was unabashed about her expectations of giving away Microsoft's once-costly software.

"Once I get a company set up, then I can really be a resource," she said. Office 365 will make her no money as a product. Rather, it connects her to customers so she becomes the logical choice for Web-hosting services, business consulting and other by-fee packages

"I have to be very efficient about what I charge, but that is where the money is these days."

Microsoft out. "Micro-service" in
It is no secret that Carter's software-as-loss-leader worldview is shared by MIcrosoft's top brass. This year at the Worldwide Partner Conference, where Microsoft resellers from more than 160 countries descended upon Houston to get the straight dope from then-retiring CEO Steve Ballmer, the new "software ain't worth what it used to be" mantra was clear.

"About a year ago in our annual report, we talked about the move from being a software company," said Ballmer in the event keynote, "to a devices and services company."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
MSFT $46.90 -1.10%
AAPL $132.58 0.91%
FB $80.58 0.12%
GOOG $540.32 -0.40%
TSLA $247.80 0.89%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs