CIO Symmetry

Jul 28 2008   12:58PM GMT

Microsoft: Kicking SaaS and changing names

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

I brushed up on SaaS (Software as a Service) knowledge today.

After reading through all the SaaS articles on my site, I continued on to Google. Amongst the many pages of SaaS, there was a Microsoft site introducing something a little different.

Microsoft had changed the way it spoke of SaaS. It was no longer “Software as a Service.” It had delved into “Software-plus-Services.”

Hmmm … intriguing.

Already on a mission to become well-versed in the world of SaaS, I followed the link. But before I could even view the information on the Microsoft site I had to install Microsoft Silverlight.

Easy and quick, but I didn’t necessarily want it. I didn’t even know what it was when I was asked to install it. Sure, Microsoft provided a brief blurb on it, but nothing explaining why I would want this feature on my computer or what it did. And it really only gave me two options: “install” or “read more” (and then install). Needless to say, I begrudgingly installed a new program on my computer and lost 15 minutes of my time (I spent a good 14 minutes trying to find a way around it). And I still couldn’t read the information. I was prompted to close my browser and start again.

Enough was enough. I called my friend Paul Walsh at Microsoft UK.

After a quick rant about the Silverlight debacle (He explained it was a Web browser plug-in and assured me I would like it. We’ll see about that…) I asked him what Software-plus-Services was. He told me it was Microsoft’s slant on SaaS – just bigger and better.

According to Paul, Software-plus-Services combines SaaS, SOA and Web 2.0 in a brand-new user experience. This includes options for managing and accessing the software – they can be Web-based, on-site or a combination of both, depending on the needs of the company.

Cheers, Paul.

Human interaction – all the facts, no plug-in required.

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