Thursday, March 06, 2008

MS Hosting Its Own

I know I tackled some of this earlier here (and at TMCnet), but it needed more treatment.

Microsoft has announced that it will be offering Hosted Office, Exchange and Sharepoint (called Live Office Workspace). Obviously, this is a move to counter Google, which just released Google Sites, a collaboration app to complement Google Apps. How will Microsoft Partners react to MS selling Hosted Exchange, something of a revenue generator for a few like, GroupSpark, and Azaleos.

Microsoft also will be rolling out hosted Office Communications Server itself. I guess, they think its too big of a deal to leave to partners. Or maybe it will be a big roll-out integrated with Nortel.

Does MS just want partners selling licenses? It may seem so. VARs are now competing against a hosted suite of services from their Vendor, while also being challenged from communications providers like MSO's (see post here). Now Microsoft has officially become an ILEC - a monopoly that treats its channel as a "partner".

Want a good comparison of MS Workspace versus Google Sites? Read Sarah's post.

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