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Microsoft To Make A SaaS Announcement Tuesday

Starting today, thousands will be convening for Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, which is sure to be a steamy event (Houston in July, anyone?). I'm particularly curious about a Microsoft news announcement Tuesday coming from its online services group.
Starting today, thousands will be convening for Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, which is sure to be a steamy event (Houston in July, anyone?). I'm particularly curious about a Microsoft news announcement Tuesday coming from its online services group.Microsoft is in an interesting space with its business partners/resellers regarding its "software + services" strategy. It hasn't provided details on how partners will be compensated for SaaS and cloud computing deals, for one. Could some of those details come tomorrow? Whatever the announcement is, those attending the Tuesday morning keynote of Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop will surely get a hint. The online services group will make its announcement at 10:30 a.m. Houston time, right after Elop's keynote.

What we do know is that Microsoft plans to make three important business software offerings -- Exchange, Office Communications, and SharePoint -- available in SaaS versions for business this year, but it's still very much a soft sell: Microsoft senior VP Chris Capossela told InformationWeek that cloud computing isn't going to be cheaper than on-premise software and infrastructure, because "You're going to pay forever. ... It's a subscription, for goodness' sake."

What we don't know is the pricing for these offerings, or how Microsoft's reseller channel fits into the cloud computing scenario. Maybe some clarity will come tomorrow. Maybe.

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