Microsoft To Offer Online Versions Of All Its Apps - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Microsoft To Offer Online Versions Of All Its Apps

Over time, virtually every piece of Microsoft's software lineup will be offered as a server or a service, said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. He and CTO Ray Ozzie unveiled the company’s new Windows Live and Office Live offerings Tuesday.

Over time, virtually every piece of Microsoft's software lineup will be offered as a server or a service, according to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

Unveiling a new strategic vision dubbed “live software,” Gates previewed Microsoft’s first moves into the space with Windows Live and Office Live on Tuesday at a press conference in San Francisco.

Focused on the individual user, Windows Live is an advertising-supported service that lets users customize their own home pages with search content, RSS feeds, workspaces, applications and a new AJAX-based mail system called Live Mail and Live Messenger, an updated version of Microsoft’s MSN Messenger. The free service is not designed to replace the company’s, which will continue to feature programmed content.

Office Live, previewed by Microsoft General Manager of Information Worker Services Rajesh Jha, is a set of free and subscription-based services for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

The base-level Office Live lets small businesses sign up for a free domain registration and a free web site, plus multiple Live Mail accounts with up to 2 Mbytes of storage, free online collaboration to enable ad hoc file sharing a la Groove Networks, code-named Mojo. The subscription-based service is designed for fuller-function business portals that might enable a company to set up a secure space to communicate with an accountant or for various workgroups.

Microsoft's top worldwide channel executive says the company's upcoming Office Live will jump-start business for a variety of solution providers targeting very small businesses. The service will start rolling out next year.

"This will, for the first time, widely open up a segment of the market that has been underserved by technology, said Allison Watson, vice president of Microsoft's worldwide partner and small business group.

She estimates the potential market to be about 5.2 million businesses that are currently PC-based, not server-based.

While the service emanates from Microsoft, third-party partners--ISVs in particular--can build vertical applications atop the collaboration and mail infrastructure. RE3W, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based ISV specializing in Web-based applications for the real-estate industry, demonstrated its application on stage with Microsoft in San Francisco, although not without glitches.

Watson said most of the Office Live infrastructure would go to beta early next year. Some of the foundational Windows Live services demonstrated are in beta now, she said.

While the services previewed Tuesday did not focus on hosted applications, Gates said applications such as CRM could be added to the Office Live service at a premium subscriber level sometime in the future.

Gates and Ray Ozzie, one of Microsoft's three CTOs, are using the event to outline the company's strategic push into “Live software,” a catchall term covering software, services and software as a service. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant plans to offer hosted collaboration and business applications such as CRM and ERP via its own hosting services or via partners.

Sources inside and close to Microsoft have likened the company’s software-as-a-service push to its belated discovery of the Internet after Netscape's Navigator browser threatened to make Windows irrelevant several years ago. Ozzie, who joined Microsoft last year when it acquired Groove Networks, is driving this strategy.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
How COVID is Changing Technology Futures
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/23/2020
10 Ways AI Is Transforming Enterprise Software
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/13/2020
IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/30/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Special Report: Why Performance Testing is Crucial Today
This special report will help enterprises determine what they should expect from performance testing solutions and how to put them to work most efficiently. Get it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll