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It’s Time to Go On Demand. Just Look at Microsoft

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Live.com means even Microsoft is adopting the SaaS model. But Google is already there with Google apps and the big Googs doesn’t have the problem of figuring out how to adjust a business model that depends on selling software the old-fashioned way (shipping lots and lots of CDs). If you play with Google apps for a bit, one of the things that becomes clear is that collaboration is baked in. That’s what people do with docs and spreadsheets, they share them and update them in groups. The way that works for folks using Office now is people just email these things around or if they’re very ambitious they set up a shared directory; but then you have to deal with when other folks have the doc opened and there really is no good story for managing revisions. Of course, you could deploy Sharepoint but this is yet another install on some server that will have to be managed. And folks will have to be trained on how to use it. All of these features, from access control to revision history, are right there with Google apps and they’re very intuitive and well conceived. The point is that I really can’t see a bright future for even Microsoft’s most dominant software. The sun is definitely setting on their legacy business model and it’ll be interesting to watch Microsoft attempt to compete when they don’t have the advantage of owning the OS. After all, as aggressive as Microsoft is, I don’t think they’ll be able to acquire the Internet itself.

This Bullhorn Blog post was written by Geoff Greene.