Microsoft is planning to bring its entire software offering to the Web in order to use the worsening economy to spur growth for the potentially free versions of its web based offerings, according to Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft’s business division who is leading Microsoft’s entry into the SaaS world. While talking to Reuters, Elop said:
What we think is in five years, 50 percent of the use of Exchange and Sharepoint could be serviced from the cloud. Between now and then, a year or two or whatever, if it’s going to be tough economic times, that means we expect quite a lot of movement in that direction, a lot of people taking advantage of that. I think the economy will help it.
We expect fully that the full range of Office utilities, from the most advanced to simpler lightweight versions, will be available with a range of options: ad-funded, subscriptions-based, traditional licensing fees, and so forth. So you should expect to see that full array
The company is already undertaking massive data center projects to position itself for SaaS.