From InfoWorld: Microsoft promoted more of its Web-based software offerings at its Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans this week, but some analysts say the company's enterprise licensing terms provide little incentive for large customers to move away from its on-premise products.
Microsoft used the partner event to demonstrate Office Web apps, a hosted version of its Office suite, and to promote the use of a hybrid "software plus services" environment -- something it's been pushing for some time -- for customers who want to transition from its on-premise software towards some of its online services.
Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop told partners at the show that nine out of 10 of their customers want to use the hosted services in Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), but that customers should have the choice between buying software or services, or using a combination of both.
BPOS includes hosted versions of Exchange, SharePoint, LiveMeeting and Office Communications sold on a per-user, subscription basis. Office Web apps is expected to be available in the first half of next year, though it's unclear if it will become a part of this suite.
While a combination of software and services from Microsoft is available to customers now, sensible licensing terms that allow them to combine them cost-effectively is not, analysts said.
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