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SaaS Week

Krissi Danielson

Ovum Analyst Praises Microsoft's "Software + Services" Initiative

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An Ovum research analyst has written a piece about Microsoft's Software + Services vision that appeared in Google Alerts yesterday. In the analysis, research director Warren Wilson applauds Microsofts S+S strategy, calling it a way to "go one better than SaaS providers with hybrid solutions that give customers more choice and flexibility."

I have not been following the SaaS market for all that long, relatively speaking, but it strikes me as a strange claim to assert that S+S is a "one-up" to software-as-a-service. Basically, the "Live" family of products released by Microsoft do not seem to truly be SaaS at all. The offerings are web-based extensions of on-premise software rather than standalone applications, and they may enhance the standalone application but it seems to me that comparing this to SaaS is something of a misnomer, given that you still have to have the Microsoft application installed locally on your machine. A product add-on isn't the same as making a product into a SaaS offering.

Now, Microsoft's "Online" product family do seem to be standalones that can replace on-premise solutions and truly SaaS, but time will tell what happens with them in the marketplace. Blogs around the Net are a mixture of positives and negatives, with many suggesting that Microsoft's upcoming Titan initiative is its true SaaS play.

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