Ballmer: SaaS to have a major impact on businesses, not just consumers

Ballmer: SaaS to have a major impact on businesses, not just consumers

Summary: Microsoft is expecting Web 2.0 and software-as-a-service (SaaS) to "have as profound an impact on the business market as on the consumer market," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in an address to a group of 80 or so Microsoft-identified "IT Pro community leaders" on the Redmond campus on April 18.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Microsoft is expecting Web 2.0 and software-as-a-service (SaaS) to "have as profound an impact on the business market as on the consumer market," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer addressed a group of 80 or so Microsoft-identified "IT Pro community leaders" during a day-long Townhall Event on the Redmond campus on April 18. During a Q&A with attendees, Ballmer reflected quite a bit on Microsoft's SaaS strategy -- seldom using the company's preferred "Software Plus Services" terminology.

Ballmer said it's only a matter of time -- be it one, three or ten years -- until SaaS "happens." Watch for Microsoft to roll out its own cloud-based deliverables "over the course of the next few years," Ballmer added.

"SaaS starts with a new platform that nobody has today," Ballmer said -- "the platform in the cloud."

Microsoft will be taking its "experiences" and applications and "projecting them into the SaaS world," Ballmer said. He said Microsoft is thinking in terms of "what would a PC look like if it were PC Live" in devising its Windows Live, Office Live, Live Search, CRM Live and ERP Live product sets.

When it comes to thinking about the future, Some companies buy technologies, Ballmer said. Some are more centered around engineering/building their own solutions. And some are more incubation-centric, Ballmer said. Microsoft is looking to combine all three cultures as its business model diversifies from one heavily based on packaged software to one that addresses the software-services continuum.

Ballmer mentioned the so-called corporate "quests" that Microsoft is using internally as a long-term planning tool. Ballmer said there are 70 areas that the Microsoft executive team has identified as important to the company's future. The 70 quests are subdivided into six buckets, he said: productivity, entertainment, business works, IT in the datacenter, software development and "the future of Windows," meaning both the user interface and the computational computing models enabled by the platform.

Each of the company's quests will be applied to different audienes in different ways, Ballmer said. He told the IT Pro Townhall attendees that Microsoft is grouping customers into two sweeping categories -- those with IT departments and those relying on Yahoo, Microsoft and other hosted-services providers as their IT departments in the cloud.

During Q&A with Townhall attendees, Ballmer said that Microsoft is not planning to introduce any kind of new concurrent-licensing models to reflect the company's increasing moves into the SaaS field.

"SaaS will having diffrent pricing models" depending on the associated business model, he said. But "we don't forsee any major new work on our licensing as a result of SaaS."

Ballmer also addressed another attendee's question about Windows Vista's adoption rate. Ballmer said that the adoption rate of Vista has not been slow. Vista is gaining adoption at about the same speed as past Windows releases, he said. He said Citigroup has committed to rolling out 500,000 Vista seats in th enext 13 to 14 months.

Topic: Tech Industry

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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8 comments
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  • Great!

    Will you the Patch DNS flaw for now before starting any more clouds.
    AnonymousBugMeNotUser
  • Visio had to use a cloud for the Internet

    Sounds like Passport on Steroids. I remember how well that faired.

    Microsoft has some neat ideas, but as one of the other bloggers stated, "Just break up now and have the legal fees"
    nucrash
  • A perfect example

    Of a cloudy opinion on a cloudy subject
    by a cloudy character.
    Microsoft's goal is to have a server
    (mothership) in the clouds to track and
    control, and COLLECT REVENUE FROM, every
    computer on earth.
    If you want any information, read
    between the lines (in the cloud).
    Ole Man
  • ha, ha, ha!

    ["SaaS starts with a new platform that nobody has today," Ballmer said ]
    Mr. Ballmer is eighter ignorant or is smoking something!
    The SaaS is here, just check Google and others, an all run on Linux.
    The 'cloud OS' a.k.a. 'hot air OS' is just an excuse for M$ falling behind.
    Linux Geek
  • Ballmer's Predictions

    Like a turd in the toilet..after you flush it you forget it ever existed.

    Use that money to get some hair implants Jabba....
    itanalyst
  • Steve Ballmer is a...

    very ugly man, inside and out. He actually LOOKS evil, scary sh**. <:-[
    tek_heretik
  • SaaS yet another rotten idea M$ enthuses over

    Go back and figure out how to design a decent word processor.

    Stop the scamming. Stop the permatemping, body shopping, cross-border body
    shopping. Confess your malicious ethical breaches. List the things you are
    stopping and the good things you will do, instead. Then get back with us.
    Professor8
  • RE: Ballmer: SaaS to have a major impact on businesses, not just consumers

    This patent application is interesting for several reasons. First, it shows just how much time and energy Gates is putting <a href="http://www.china-sexy-lingerie.com">sexy lingerie</a> into understanding the dynamics of the online advertising market. (And you thought all Gates cared about were perpetually up-and-coming technologies like Tablet PCs, voice-recognition software and IPTV
    jack163