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July 11, 2006



What categories of software are the best candidates for this? Its hard to get my head around people who want to use say photoshop using an ad-supported clone. Because they want the best app, not the second-best cheapo one. I guess you could point to say ad-supported free email as an app thats done really well. But are people really going to go after say Salesforce or Basecamp type apps with the ad model??? Maybe 2 years from now google & co will start rolling up the enterprise apps space in the never-ending search for ad inventory.

Tim Oren

Photoshop is likely a good example of a category of software that will be the least affected. A few disqualifiers: Very high effective user interface bandwidth, large files used, sophisticated user base with high willingness to pay for flexibility and productivity.

OTOH, if you relax some of those constraints, you get a consumerized 'Photoshop' in the form of things like snapfish and iPhoto, and there we have already evolved into a mixture of conventional apps and online editing and composition software, that are effectively 'paid' by facilitating sales of photo and album prints and other services. Tradeoff points: Limited, conventional edits versus fully customizable interface; effective limits on file sizes (no RAW that I'm aware of), consumer horizontal market vs. professional vertical market.

BTW, the next post in this theme is going to be a first stab at which areas are most and least affected.

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