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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

The S+S Kool-Aid

Had a good talk on the Gang today.  Mostly we talked about Microsoft / Yahoo, if Microsoft can beat Google at openness.  A small part of the discussion was whether or not Microsoft can credibly move into an open Services space with their S+S strategy. 

Perception is that the Software in the S+S strategy is the Windows desktop & Office.  Of course, there is truth in that, but I maintain that Microsoft is also driving to enable their developer ecosystem to build rich S+S applications outside of the Windows desktop and Office.

But maybe Gianpaolo Carraro, Director of SaaS Architecture at Microsoft, disagrees with me.  In his post, S+S- Real or have I drunk too much Kool-Aid- -), he shows a feature of Office that can open and save Office Live files.  He asks if this example shows that S+S is real or if he has “drunk too much (of the Microsoft) Kool-Aid”.

Short answer, yes.

I seem to have stepped into the middle of an argument between Gianpaolo and Phil Waineright of ZDNet.  What are they arguing about?  Not that software is required on the front-end — I think we can all just get past that one.  Not that deployment isn’t an issue.  It seems they are arguing about whether Office + the Cloud is better than free on-demand office productivity “in the cloud”.  Fair enough, but I think the root of the issue is the term “S+S”.

Gianpaolo, is essentially saying,

Look at this nifty integration between Windows desktop & Office + Office Live.  This proves S+S is real.

Real?  Maybe.  But it that is S+S, then it just isn’t a useful term.

If it is about more than that, then let’s stop talking about little integration features between Office and Office Live.  Instead, let’s see some good examples of what it means outside of the Windows desktop, outside of Office / Office Live, even outside of Microsoft.

And this is what S+S being real and, more importantly, being relevant is going to come down to.  Regardless of how much Kool-Aid you consume.

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