Redmond, Washington – (The Hosting News) – January 7, 2009 – Microsoft’s Web strategy appears to be headed toward offering hosted business productivity services. It is well known that the company earns most of its revenue from selling software licenses to enterprises – which seem to be assessing a value in using web hosted software (in the cloud).
In so doing, there is less overall IT expenditure, as in-house IT systems become more cost-prohibitive in today’s economy.
In 2008, Microsoft released products unveiled years ago, with its first hosted versions of key software infrastructure, including Office Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
Accordingly, in early 2009, the company plans to produce hosted versions of Office Communications Server and Live Meeting.
With the advent of these services, it apperas that Microsoft is indeed, looking forward to the web as an overall business model.
Matt Rosoff, Analyst with Directions on Microsoft commented, ”When Microsoft says, ‘We are willing to make a change in how we do our core business,’ that’s a pretty big deal. From Microsoft’s perspective, that’s much more significant than the whole search thing.”
A recent omScore Network report has indicated Microsoft’s Live Search in November at 8.3 percent, which matches a low for the year from August. Not surprisingly, Google was listed at a 63.5 percent share of online searches. Meanwhile, the proposed Microsoft purchase deal for Yahoo’s search business or the company, lingers.
Microsoft could surpass Google when it comes to hosted business services, since Microsoft has so many existing enterprise customers. Microsoft is selling hosted Exchange Online for $10 per user, per month and SharePoint Online for $7.25 per user, per month. When available, Office Communications Online is expected to cost $2.50 per user, per month; and Office Live Meeting Online will cost $4.50 per user, per month. A suite of the services is expected to cost around $15 per user, per month.
All in all, it appears that Microsoft is getting set to embark upon an important phase of enterprise IT, software as a service, or SaaS, referring to its ‘software plus services.’
Ray Wang, a vice president at Forrester Research, commented, ”There are so many customers that don’t want to move to services. What Microsoft is doing is providing another option, another delivery option.”
Serguei Sofinski, CEO of Intermedia, a Microsoft hosting partner, offered, ”Partners will benefit from the market awareness that Microsoft can generate for the software-as-a-service delivery model.”
To learn more, please visit: www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/hostingproviders.mspx.