Even as Microsoft continues with the most aggressive product rollout in its history with the launch of the Live series of hosted applications, it is showing no inclination to consider alternatives to its long-standing packaged software approach.
IBM's on-demand model is "crazy" and Open Source is "really a developer phenomenon" that does not stand comparison with "customer experience of Windows Live", said Charles Fitzgerald, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy, last week.
In an interview with ZDNet UK, Fitzgerald said that there was no comparison between Microsoft Live, which offers on-demand features, and IBM's on-demand strategy.
"When people are talking about on-demand, I don't know whether they are talking about the crazy, IBM approach — "I'm going to host everybody's mainframe and there is nobody in the market who knows how to run a mainframe, so if we are going to preserve that business we are going to have to run it ourselves," said Fitzgerald. "Then my cable company talks about on-demand when I can video on-demand. It's not a super-useful term for me."
According to Fitzgerald, the real magic of Live "is that it will be a combination of client software, peer-to-peer interactions and cloud-based services so it is not any one of those — it is actually the mix of all those things".
Equally, Fitzgerald has no time for open source, which he claimed is not an end-user experience but "is really a developer phenomenon that speaks to infrastructure."
"With Windows Live and Office Live we are talking about customer experiences, whether it is a personal set of services for Windows Live or things that are aimed at helping people grow and manage their businesses," said Fitzgerald. "I doubt if you talk to users of Office Live that they have any interest in dorking around with source code. This is about customer experience rather than developer experience so it's largely irrelevant."
You can read the full text of Fitzgerald's interview here.