Mini-Microsoft has a blog post entitled  Microsoft's Yahoo! Acquisition is Bold. And Dumb. which contains the following excerpt

To tell you the truth, if you had pulled me aside when I was in school, holding court in the computer science lab, and whispered in my ear ala The Graduate: "online ads..." I would have laughed my geek butt off.

So Google gets to have the joke on me, but for us to bet the company and build Microsoft's future foundation on ads revenue? WTF? As someone who considers themselves a citizen, not a consumer, I want to create software experiences that make people's lives delightful and better, not that sells them crap they don't need while putting them deeper into debt. I'm going to be in purgatory long enough as is.

I find this sentiment somewhat ironic coming from Mini-Microsoft. Microsoft’s bread and butter comes from selling software that people have to use not software that they want to use. In fact, you can argue that the fundamental problems the company has had in making traction in certain consumer-centric markets is that our culture is still influenced by selling to IT departments and developers (i.e. where features and checklists are important) as opposed to selling to consumers (i.e. where user experience is the most important thing).

Specifically, it is hard for me to imagine that there are more people in the world that think that whatever Microsoft product Mini works on has given them more delight or improved their lives better than Facebook, Flickr, Google, MySpace or Windows Live Messenger which happen to all be ad supported software. Thus it amusing to see him imply that ad-supported software is the antithesis of software that delights and improves peoples quality of life. 

The way I see it, Jerry Yang is right that from the perspective of a user “You Always Have Other Options” when it comes free (ad supported), Web-based software which encourages applications to innovate in the user experience to differentiate themselves. It is no small wonder that we’ve seen more innovations in social applications and user interfaces in the world of free, Web-based applications than we’ve seen in the world of proprietary, commercial software.  Something to think about the next time you decide to crap on ad supported Web apps because you think building commercial software is some sort of noble cause that results in perfect, customer delighting software, Mini.

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