Microsoft’s Hosted Application Strategy – Coexist with Software

Office Live is Microsoft’s online servcies crown jewel to help small businesses run their businesses. There’s a mature ecosystem of software tools that can help small business.
Microsoft Small Business Server, Office, Sharepoint and other tools are the software side of this business.
With Office Live, Microsoft is offering a suite of tools that it hopes will coexist and compliment its existing software applications.
While other vendors, such as Google and are pushing for “no software”, Microsoft is pushing for “software + add-on hosted application”
CRN writes that Office Live’s next big push is going to be channel partners building services around Office Live. The Office Live’s channel play got rolling last year with about four inaugural participants. That, number has grown to 100 partners√≥about 25 of which have applications available now, Koopmans said. The Office Live marketplace has been open for business in the U.S. since January. A partner page for the U.K. is now up.
Reuters writes The challenge for Ozzie is to deliver a host of Web services alongside Microsoft’s classic out-of-the-box software to remain competitive with online rivals like, Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO – news) and others without compromising its core business.
“In most cases it’s not going to be cannibalistic, but on the fringes there will be some substitution of one thing for another,” said Ozzie.
For example, Ozzie said some small businesses may opt for Office Live — an online service that helps set up Web sites, company e-mail and Web applications for collaborative projects — instead of a company server running on Windows.

What does this mean to you
You have a lot of options and don’t have to, no should you RUSH to make a particular move. Especially do not put your data-tech eggs all in one basket before you have tested the waters and really are sure of how you are going to evolutionize and revolutionize your technology.