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Microsoft Online Services Roadmap

February 4, 2009

Useful article on roadmap and future of HMC and Online Services from www.Directions.Microsoft.com

"…One of the most important contributions Microsoft has made is validating the market for hosted services. Until recently, Microsoft has argued against widespread use of hosted services, arguing that local, on-premise technologies provide greater reliability and offline capabilities. But ubiquitous network connectivity and more mobile workforces have weakened those arguments, and with Microsoft itself now promoting hosted and online services, hitherto reluctant customers are likely to look at it differently, creating greater opportunities for a wide variety of partners and vendors…
The new hosted offerings will provide both new competition and new opportunities for partners of many types. Hosting partners – Microsoft Online will provide stiff competition for some partners who today offer hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and other services…"

By Paul DeGroot

Posted: Mar. 24, 2008

The following is an illustration accompanying an article published by Directions on Microsoft, an independent research firm focused exclusively on Microsoft strategy & technology.

The full article can be read here:
Online Business Services Aim at Broad Market – http://www.directionsonmicrosoft.com/sample/DOMIS/update/2008/04apr/0408obsaab.htm 

Managed Services Strategy Broadens –
Partners Get Commissions on Microsoft-Hosted Services http://www.directionsonmicrosoft.com/sample/DOMIS/update/2008/08aug/0808pgcoms.htm



Microsoft’s roadmap for hosted products includes updates to the Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) platform that the company currently offers for use by hosting partners and for hosted services that Microsoft will offer directly to customers itself.

Hosting services for Exchange, SharePoint, and Communications Server are already sold directly to large customers, and will be sold through partner and volume channels as part of the Business Productivity Online Suite, in two tiers of services, a Standard tier and a more advanced Dedicated tier.

As Microsoft, for the first time, uses its own HMC platform to offer commercial business services, the company expects to build new capabilities that will be rolled out to partners in future HMC versions. In addition, the Business Online Services group will work with server product groups to make it easier to run servers, such as Exchange and SharePoint, in multitenant configurations (running multiple copies of the server side by side in a single OS instance), which current versions of the servers were not designed for.



The home page for BPOS is www.microsoft.com/online/default.mspx.

Earlier online services announcements were covered in "Hosted Messaging and Collaboration Services from Microsoft" on page 10 of the Nov. 2007 Update.

The rising profile of services and subscriptions was described in "Software Plus Services Becomes Urgent," on page 29 of the Aug. 2007 Update.

Expansion of managed services was covered in "Managed Services Strategy Broadens" on page 27 of the July 2007 Update.

Software Plus Services was outlined in "’Software Plus Services’ Strategy Explained" on page 33 of the May 2007 Update.

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