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SaaS Week

Krissi Danielson

SaaS as an Evolutionary Step; Microsoft Director Pooh-Pooh's Services Without Software

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In daily scanning of SaaS headlines, two interesting articles caught my attention today. One was an article in Australia's iTWire publication that covered an interview with Gianpaola Carraro, Director of Architecture Strategy at Microsoft.

In the interview, Carraro makes some ambitious statements about Microsoft's Software + Services initiative. He goes so far as to call SaaS a subset of S+S and insists that S+S "embraces SaaS but goes beyond it."

He then goes on to insist that a browser-only software model does not go far enough and does not address the needs of some enterprises to not move data outside premises and that only the combination of local software plus SaaS can prevail, pointing out that Microsoft's strategy is vindicated by how some pure SaaS companies are beginning to include offline capabilities.

Numerous other forces in the marketplace are likely to disagree, particularly small and medium businesses that are finding SaaS to be a terrific way to save money and avoid the hassle of offline software. Sure, some offline software still makes sense, but in time it might not. It's hard to say what the future holds.

That's sort of the way of thinking in an article called This isn't a device, it's a service by Sean McGrath at ITworld.com. In the article, McGrath points out that even five years ago an offer to rent someone a word processor would have been met with laughter. McGrath suggests that the emphasis of the IT industry is shifting from the idea of software as a thing to the idea of software/hardware as something to be consumed, pointing out that Amazon's CTO Werner Vogel seems to agree with his recent quote after which McGrath's article was titled.

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