Today Microsoft announced the next phase in its Software + Services strategy. The concept is remarkably simple: it describes a future where local software and Internet services seamlessly interact with one another. Software makes services better and services make software better.
Software + Services also provides an umbrella that spans Software-as-a-Service, SOA and Web 2.0. Each of these are interesting areas of innovation in their right, but Software + Services lets us bring them together and offer broader and better integrated solutions.
The plan is to deliver a wide variety of new solutions during the coming months under two key families of service offerings: “Live” and “Online.”
Live services will cater to individuals, business end users, and virtual work groups. Live offerings span entertainment, communication, and productivity. The existing Live services are part of this. Office Live Workspace is the latest addition. This Online Companion to Microsoft Office will be available at no charge beginning later this year, and will let people:
- Access documents anywhere. Store up to 500 MB worth of Microsoft Office documents in one place online and access them via the Web.
- Share with others: Provide quick access to documents to others via the Web, and control who can view and edit documents.
- Work with Office. Easily connect to Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook on your PC via the Web.
Online service offerings are for organizations with more advanced IT needs where power and flexibility are critical. Microsoft Online are Services-Based Solutions for IT Organizations with 5,000 seats or greater and will include:
- Microsoft Exchange Online
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Online
- Microsoft Office Communications Online
- Office Live Meeting
- BizTalk Services
For additional information please see Press Release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/sep07/09-30RoadmapForBusinessPR.mspx and an interview with Jeff Raikes : http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/sep07/09-30raikesqa.mspx.