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Selling software applications to Microsoft

This is probably pure fantasy, but I have been wondering if it is possible to sell simple applications that run on the Office platform to Microsoft.

The idea is that these would be packaged within Office's Excel as powerful working examples of what can be done with the spreadsheet program, and be sold by the millions each year  even if for pennies per copy.

Email encryption, weight-related clinical advise, and real estate rent design might be appealing application areas, amongst hundreds of others.

I realize that there is nothing new about the idea, which in a way parallels what Bill did with DOS and IBM, and that there are literally millions of spreadsheets out there, but please wake me up someone.

Thanks!

Enrique A. Woll B.
Saturday, December 27, 2003

The problem as I see it, would be that it would be highly unlikely for Microsoft to invest the time necessary to broker a deal with you for some working examples, when they could pay a college intern to write the same.

This isn't to say that you're working examples wouldn't be useful or worth money, but only that Microsoft wouldn't bother to enter into a revenue sharing deal with you since the value to them would be negligible.  The amount of money they would spend on their lawyers fees just to email you a few times would already dwarf the revenue they could make selling these things.

You'd be better off writing them yourself and setting up as an ISV.  Give away sample ones, and charge for the full versions.  Do a google search for "office add-ins" and you'll see there are a bunch of websites already devoted to this.

Michael H. Pryor (fogcreek)
Saturday, December 27, 2003

GeCAD, a Romanian company, has managed to sell their antivirus product to Microsoft.

http://www.ravantivirus.com/pages/shownews.php?i=153

You could search for more information about how they did it.

George
Saturday, December 27, 2003

Thanks Michael and thanks George!

Enrique A. Woll B.

Enrique A. Woll B.
Saturday, December 27, 2003

We've sold some of our low-level development tools to Microsoft years ago, and all I can tell you is (1) I don't know what they did with them and (2) they paid their bill on time.

I don't think selling to MS is the path to riches unless you have their ass over a barrel in some sort of patent dispute.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Saturday, December 27, 2003

Many of the add-in tools in Excel came from outside vendors.

For many years the Excel "solver" was a low-end package from an outside company that also made a high-end package.

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, December 27, 2003

Incidentally, *that* is the path you want- the flexgrid/crystal path.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Thank you Mitch & Murray!

I guess you have read the preceding comments, and I wonder what you would think of the Non-Disclosure Agreement  proposed by GECAD Software of Romania for use with contributing software developent entrepreneurs that wish to team up with them in the conceptualization, development, and marketing process for new software tools and applications?

The contract is brief, and can be read at: http://startit.gecad.ro/start/

Thanks and regards,

Enrique A. Woll B.

Enrique A. Woll B.
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Thank you Joel Spolsky!

I never fail to be amazed at how Excel, a product that clearly bested the competition in practically all respects when it was released, remains relatively dull, with true creativity for any significant improvement of its cutting edges seemingly coming consistently from outside MS!

In my case, what I propose to sell is not necessarily add-ons, though I have developed  what could become very powerful functios for complex cash flows and related.

Rather, I propose for the time being, to market full applications that are not run-of-the-mill and appeal to wide lay audiences, and that run on Excel.

Enrique A. Woll B.

Enrique A. Woll B.
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Thanks Philo!

I appreciate your suggestion.

Enrique A. Woll B.

Enrique A. Woll B.
Sunday, December 28, 2003

Enrique A. Woll B. :

You are one hell of a polite dude. You have thanked people 5 times. It's just amazing.

Investor
Monday, December 29, 2003

Thank you Investor!

Wait... err, nevermind.

Leonardo Herrera
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Thank you too Investor!

Its basic, and to tell the truth, I never really expected any feedback.

Enrique A. Woll B.

Enrique A. Woll B.
Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I'd like to sell them a hardware idea.  One key that wraps ctrl-alt-del into one stroke. 

Mike
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Thanks Mike!

Now that you raise the topic of hardware and Microsoft, as far as I know, they don't manufacture or sell any, and I wonder why.

Could it be that it would elicit a rush of antitrust antibodies after their expensive heels?

In any case, I imagine that Alt-Control-Delete can currently be programmed into one keystroke by means of a macro. But that might be a problem if there is a reasonable chance that such a key could be struck inadvertently.

What do you think?

Enrique A. Woll B.

Enrique A. Woll B.
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

microsoft sells excellent quality hardware and makes a lot of money on it. what's weird is that some of the discontinuted items continue to rise in price, i don't know why they still don't make them.

control-alt-delete is a special key. but putting it as an option for one of the 200-key keyboards which seem to be popular today might make sense.

mb
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

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