Microsoft gets outside the box with software

A big thrust of Microsoft’s use of technology has been boxed software, however, it is beginning to envision a world where more and more software is sold as a service. Microsfot’s competition (NetSuite, and many others) are already (for a long time) quickly moving in this direction – but expect a bigger push to come from Microsoft and partners.
Cnet writes Now, Microsoft is quietly working on the technological innards that will one day let the company offer corporate customers what is known in the industry as “software as a service.” Some of Microsoft’s competitors in the business software market, such as and NetSuite, have been offering software as a service products for years.
For Microsoft, the transformation is substantial, and will involve two key changes: subscription pricing, and software that’s stored remotely, or “hosted,” rather than installed directly on a business’ own servers.
“You’ll see us do more hosted things with our business and professional offerings,” Gates said, adding that Microsoft is already in the game on the consumer side with Hotmail and other MSN services.