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SaaS Week

Krissi Danielson

Microsoft Feels the SaaS Pressure for MS Office

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I was forwarded the following note from a Zoho contact; this is a comment from Raju Vegesna, an evangelist for Zoho, about Microsoft's plans for the upcoming release of Office 14. The comment was originally posted at Vegesna's blog but was made available for reposting. I thought it was interesting, so here it is:

I just came across this article from Computerworld quoting Bill Gates that ‘Office 14' will be Web-friendly.

“Microsoft won’t provide the full functionality of Office online, but it will offer limited online capability for viewing and editing the data in Office applications. It already does this for its Outlook e-mail client with a product called Outlook Web Access, and it will offer similar capabilities for other applications in Office 14, Gates said in a speech at the Microsoft Office System Developer Conference in San Jose.?
I guess, Microsoft seems to be feeling the pressure from online office apps. I am glad to see them adapt to the change on the application side. I guess the next step for Microsoft will be to adapt to the new pricing model for productivity apps - FREE.

These productivity applications have been around for years and don’t you think they should be commodity by now? Paying $400 for an office suite made sense when the price of the desktop/laptop was $5K. Now the price of the hardware has come down to $400 and we still pay $400 for an office suite. On top of it, there is a new version every two or three years asking for an upgrade (of features/$$$?). Maybe someday we’ll see a model like Web apps where “All upgrades are included?.

What do you think? Shouldn’t productivity apps be commodity by now?

What do you think? As always, it would be great if you post your thoughts below!


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I think they won’t provide the full functionality of Office online because they will meet problem where office will be tied to browser, not to Windows. So they can lost a lot of Windows customers and as result Office customers

If they (office apps) 'should be' free they 'would be' free. Obviously the market is not yet voting for free/commodity/online. There's no real barrier to switch for the end user. So why not? Maybe online user experience still pretty weak?? - even relative to price ($0 sans adds).

The question remains how MS will make up the the revenue? giving away productivity apps will be a big hole in their P&L

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