ASP99: Microsoft says ASPs are 'key'

World's largest software company gives boost to ASPs, saying they open up a new world of revenues.

Microsoft added its clout to the ASP revolution Thursday, with network solutions manager Richard Tooth claiming application service providers were "fundamental to the future of our company".

Speaking at ASP99, Tooth claimed ASPs would be key to its new rentable software strategy. In a move which many see as a response to Sun, which is offering a Web-based alternative to Office, Microsoft software will now be downloadable from the Net from early next year.

Rentable software will add another string to Microsoft's bow and prove a whole new marketing model for the software giant. "ASPs are providing Microsoft with a whole new licensing model," Tooth said. Microsoft will not be taking a leaf out of Sun's book and offering it free, though. "I believe people will always be prepared to pay for quality," Tooth said.

Admitting that the rentable model would present Microsoft with new challenges, Tooth was keen to play up the benefits for consumers. "We will be able to allow customers to access software in a different way," he said. "People who only use Office once a month will now have pay-per-use."

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