Re: "Bill will do anything for 5 million users."

From: Justin Mason (
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 04:50:31 PST

Stephen D. Williams said:

> AOL was scared that MSN was going to wipe it out because it would ship
> with every copy of Windows, ready to go. (They have become terribly
> bold in forcing users to both MSN and MSN Messenger in Win98SE as per an
> earlier conversation.) The notable quote from a MS underling at the
> time was: "Bill will do anything for 5 million users.".

Actually, that relates to one of the most interesting implications of
Hailstorm I've heard, from Rael Dornfest at

    Microsoft is clearly aiming (pun intended) at a loosely coupled
    web service-based AOL, providing the attractive integration of
    experience without that gated community feel. [...]

    With the current climate of uncertainty surrounding the Web's
    advertising-based revenue model, and AOL's subscription-based
    service going stronger than ever, Microsoft's end-user revenue
    model is well conceived. They're sure to bring in some of the
    users who just haven't gone for the more limited AOL offerings yet
    are much in need of the seamless integration of Microsoft's Office
    products. And that integration will prove, I believe, to be
    something people are prepared to pay for.


I'm still not convinced that people _would_ pay for it. But if the
services and apps are good enough, and some kind of "[foo] services when
you install MS Office - 1 months free!" deal was available, maybe they


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