Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Basically, the only thing you need to run SaaS is Internet connectivity
and a Web browser. That means you’re not going to have to call in extra
IT staff — or spend hours wrangling with new software yourself.
Most SaaS applications charge by the number of users, the features you
use, and the size of your data. Because it is so easy to change your
usage you only pay for what you’re using. Most upgrades — and
downgrades — can be carried out immediately.
What’s the Catch?
While there is no such thing as a free lunch, Microsoft is coming fairly close
to giving you a Blue Plate Special. Although there is no “catch” to the Office
Live pricing plans, Office Live does translate into some benefits for Microsoft:
Microsoft is entering fairly late into the SaaS arena, and has some catch-up
work to do. Consequently the pricing for Office Live is very competitive.
Microsoft is offering the Basic service to users for free, funding it with
the advertising that’s included on Basic sites. Microsoft is, in effect,
betting that their advertising revenues will be sufficient that they can keep
offering the Basic service at no cost.
Microsoft is hoping that although many consumers and small business
start with the free Basic subscription, they will soon upgrade to a paying
subscription. After all, $20 a month is a small price to pay for additional
functionality — and an escape from advertisements!
Microsoft is counting on the fact that Office Live will entice users to
stick with Microsoft products. They’re targeting small to mid-size
businesses. These businesses represent a growing portion of the business
community — one that has often been overlooked in the past. By
offering small businesses the same functionality and services used by larger
corporations — for a fraction of the cost — they’re banking on getting
these companies to stick with Microsoft as they grow.
Office Live offers Microsoft additional sources of revenue. As your
business — and Web site — expand, you might need to pay more for
bandwidth or additional users. Or you might be enticed to try adManager,
which comes with an additional price tag.
Unlike traditional software, there are no packaging and shipping costs
tied to a SaaS.