On Tuesday morning West Coast time Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CTO Ray Ozzie will make an announcement in San Francisco. Word is they will outline Microsoft's strategy for "software as a service", with much of the speculation about additional "hosted services" such as CRM and Sharepoint. The announcements should also clarify Microsoft's recent re-organization, in which they put MSN and Windows in the same group.
I've heard some rumors that it will be something much more exciting than a CRM hosted service (with all due respect to salesforce.com, CRM is not the most riveting topic). Unfortunately I can't talk about those rumors, but if true then this will be bigger news than expected tomorrow.
Back to the hosted software speculation. Word is that Sun Microsystems may also announce a Web-based software service tomorrow. Sun's vision of "the network is the computer" was conceived long before Web 2.0 was coined, yet they've struggled of late to make an impact in the Web applications space. So they must be feeling the pressure to compete with Microsoft's renewed interest for "software as a service".
Interesting also that a story came out today on News.com about Google planning to hire programmers to improve OpenOffice.org, which has its roots in Sun Microsystems' StarOffice suite. Google and Sun announced a partnership earlier in October, but nothing of substance has yet come out of that. I get the feeling that may change soon, once Microsoft announces its plans for web-based software and platforms tomorrow morning.
Stay tuned, more as it develops...