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Wow, Office 2010 Web Apps Are Here

Microsoft rolled out a test version of its Office 2010 productivity suite on Monday, which includes "Office Web applications."

At last, Microsoft has taken its familiar Office user interface and made it into a lightweight application that runs in a Web browser. It should make waves among Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, but do IT shops care? The idea of moving to hosted application services maybe isn't so easy.

For instance, a survey conducted by Gartner in December found some difficulty with SaaS-delivered software passing muster. Survey respondents who were dissatisfied with SaaS cited its high cost (42 percent). In addition, there were integration problems (38 percent), along with difficulty meeting the IT shop's technical requirements (33 percent).

Those findings seem surprising. They also seem to strongly favor Microsoft as it revs up its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) of hosted software and Windows Azure cloud computing operations. Microsoft has long profited from having interoperable products within its own software stack, even while other software companies have sued over a lack of such integration.

It's assumed that SaaS now makes compelling business sense as IT budgets get cut or frozen in a down economy, although Gartner's study suggests otherwise. Has your IT shop considered making the move to SaaS? Let Doug Barney know your concerns or successes with SaaS-based applications at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Kurt Mackie on 07/14/2009 at 1:16 PM


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