It’s still a far cry from going completely free-to-play, but if you’re interested in checking out CS:GO, then you now have a way to do so without dropping money.
You can play offline against bots, and even spectate matches (including the upcoming tournaments). That seems to be the main impetus for this release. To give CS:GO fans a way to watch competitive play from inside the game, without actually owning the game. Perhaps this is great for venues, to put CSGO on a bunch of computers without having to give them ownership of the game first.
Plus, it’s basically a demo.
This version of the game doesn’t appear to be live yet, but it should be today. In the meantime, you can keep an eye on the full game’s page for more info.