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Microsoft Adds 'Architect Center' S+S Resource

Microsoft has launched a new Software Plus Services Architecture Center Web page on its Microsoft Developer Network. The site contains resources for architects and others still trying to figure out just what the Microsoft Software Plus Services (S+S) concept is all about.

The Web page was noted last Friday by Neil Hutson, a Redmond-based evangelist and blogger covering Microsoft developer platforms.

The new resource is organized around an initial Webinar by Gianpaolo Carraro, director of SaaS architecture in the architecture strategy team at Microsoft. Carraro provided a definition for S+S.

"Software Plus Services is the realization that the world is moving through a model where it won't always be software on the desktop as it was a few years ago," he said. "But it won't be services in the cloud only, as we've seen in the first generation of SaaS offerings. The future is a combination of local solutions and Internet services interacting with one another."

Carraro also provided a visual image. Software and services go together like the Chinese concepts of yin and yang.

"So, taking the yin and yang as an analogy, one can say that software makes services better, and services make software better."

For those wondering what's in it for them, Carraro explained that S+S is going to look different depending on the observer. There are four verbs associated with S+S activities: build, run, consume and monetize.

Independent software vendors are going to be interested in how S+S is built. Hosting services providers are going to be concerning with how S+S is run. Enterprises will be the consumers of S+S.

As for monetizing S+S, everyone is going to be interested in that, Carraro said.

Indeed, how S+S will financially affect Microsoft's vast partner community has been a concern among partners in the past. However, a survey conducted late last year suggested that partners are somewhat comfortable with potential S+S opportunities, even though the financial models are still in experimental stages.

In addition to the new Architecture Center page, Microsoft provides general information on its S+S effort.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.

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