A year ago I wrote about Office Live Essentials and I found the service to be slow and proprietary — you had to be on Windows and you had to use Internet Explorer.
Those two petty requirements are still locked in — so it is hard now for me as MacBook Pro Boy Toy
to get really excited about this new free offering.
However, most of the world still runs on Windows and IE, so you might
be interested in taking MSFT up on the details of their free offer:
I have basically been waiting for BookBeta.com
to get out of the Office Live beta testing phase and go paid at a
subscription price of $20.00 a month so I could cancel the service.
I do not own that domain name — Microsoft does — but now that there’s
a free version of the service, I might as well try to stay awhile and
see how things work out.
Here’s why Microsoft’s offer, while free, is still closed and hateful;
behold the error message below when I load my BookBeta.com homepage using Firefox 2.01 — my browser of choice:
That nasty message makes it snarky and obvious — “requires a
connection to the internet”… umm “Duh!” — that Microsoft’s Office
Live Basics is for their benefit and not yours.
Microsoft will give you free space and service, but you have to use
their technology and their proprietary browser or you and your visitors
get punished with punitive messages like that stuck on your website to
insult and ugly up the user experience.
Google Apps for Your Domain doesn’t place that sort of hate message on
the domains they host if you aren’t using their preferred technology of
I just contacted Microsoft Support to have them move my BookBeta.com
account from Paid Essentials to Free Basic. We’ll see if they make that
change and how long it takes them to make that move. Watch this space
for regular updates.
Office Live is worth it for free, but not worth paying to use.
you have any free web services you use? If yes, which services do you
like and which services do not work as well as you’d hope?
If Microsoft places advertising on your free site — would that bother
you — or would you expect that to be part of the “free” setup you’re
exploiting in the Office Live Basics offer?