Is Microsoft Readying its SaaS Strategy for Launch?

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According to a blog post from Nick Carr over the weekend, Microsoft may be making moves to go public with its Software-as-a-Service strategy, a domain very familiar to rival Google. Carr states:

"I've heard that Microsoft has begun briefing its large enterprise clients on an expansive and detailed strategy for moving its software business into the cloud. If the report proves correct - and I make no guarantees - the company will unveil the strategy to the public either next week or the week after."
So far Microsoft has stayed on the periphery of the SaaS movement which Carr attributes to their need to focus on core Windows and Office updates and to their need for massive new data centers to support the future SaaS business. I agree but would add that Microsoft has been slow on SaaS simply because they could be. They are making so much money selling software that it makes no sense for them to roll out SaaS offerings until they absolutely have to. Perhaps now is that time. I recently wrote about Google's launch of Google Sites, a new offering based on it's Jotspot acquisition and positioned as a SaaS-based competitor to Microsoft's SharePoint platform. While Google Sites is a far cry from Sharepoint at this point, Google is assembling the pieces to compete head on in Microsoft territory.

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