Microsoft Puts SharePoint 3.0 in The Cloud

More background on the hosted solution announcement Microsoft did yesterday.

… Microsoft is taking yet another step toward its vision of a software-plus-services world. Beginning today, online hosting companies will be able to offer their customers features of Microsoft’s most recent on-premise collaboration and communication tools, SharePoint Services 3.0 and Exchange Server 2007.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software vendor said that, by updating its two hosting packages, Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) and Windows Based Hosting (WBH), it is helping software providers improve their offerings to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).

According to Michael van Dijken, lead marketing manager for hosted solutions in Microsoft’s communications sector group, hosted services are becoming commoditized. “Service providers need to be able to differentiate themselves and deepen their relationships with customers,” he told …

…Van Dijken said that HMC will be upgraded again in the fall to support Office Communications Server 2007, which is expected to ship this summer. …

So also Unified Communications from ’the cloud’. It shows that Hosted solutions are implicit in the design of Communication and Collaboration products at Microsoft.

… Ultimately, predicted DeMichillie, Microsoft will even begin offering service-based enhancements to their on-premise SharePoint customers. “That will give them two bites at the apple… that’s undeniably the direction they want to be going to.” …

Seems very logical and totally in line with Forrester’s poll on Web 2.0 Solutions amongst 119 CIOs : these services should come from incumbent vendors.