Friday, June 13, 2008

"Buying" users, for free. Genius

Most people been in the academy, knows the nice trick of major software companies: the "student edition" or "express edition" (sufficient for students requirements) is given for free or a small fee. Later, when the student will be looking for a job, he'll be looking the tools he already knowns. So, if for the entire degree the students uses Visual Studio Express and Office Student Edition, this is what will be written in the resume, and this what the student will be looking for.
This week, something similar (not exactly the same) happened in my university. The university opened "for free" email account for every student (still in pilot, but will eventually cover thousand of students) at Actually, this is live., but login is done through Now, since I was chosen to the pilot, I'm a happy owner of Windows Live Hotmail account. Not sure what am I supposed to do with it, but the university promised it'll work under Firefox and Safari under any OS, so no complaints here. The thing with this account is the fact that it is not limited to the period of time I'll be a student. It's for a life-time, only that after I'll finish my degree, the account would start display ads (which it currently doesn't). So, next year, I'll become a regular user, that sees ads and everything, which makes me a source of income to MS. So thanks to the university, MS could make more money. Just like giving Visual Studio for free, only easier. Come to think about it, only one word comes in mind: Genius.

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