There are various business models for software these days, ranging from simple purchases to subscriptions. There are also freemium apps and games that are cost-free but feature advertising. If you have spent money on software, you might rightly expect it to be free from ads, but not in the case of Microsoft Office 2021.
Microsoft is certainly no stranger to using its products — such as Windows 11 — as platforms to advertise other products and services. Office 2021 is just the latest example, with Microsoft using the software — for which users have paid a one-off fee — to advertise the subscription-based its Microsoft 365 products.
The ads appear in a bar at beneath the Office toolbar, inviting users to try out three months of Microsoft 365 Family for $0.99. Although not massively intrusive, the ads have come as a disappointment to Office users who made the conscious choice to make a one-off purchase rather than paying a monthly or annual subscription free.
Among those who have seen the ads is Lee Holmes, a PowerShell developer and Principal Security Architect of Azure Security. He took to Twitter to share his disappointment:
Holmes is far from alone in feeling frustrated and let down by the appearance of advertising in a paid-for product. Although Microsoft is using the ads to offer up a decent discount to those happy to jump to a subscription plan, that’s hardly the point.