Microsoft Cloud Services It’s only speculation at this point, but the recent purchase of the sway.com domain name by Microsoft may be a precursor to their launching a new content delivery network (CDN), according to a report on CloudWedge.

If, and when it happens, Microsoft Cloud Services will provide media companies and eCommerce firms a hosted way to deliver content to their audiences through Microsoft Cloud Services. What’s more, the CDN option will offer Amazon’s CloudFront more competition.

Microsoft’s current ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) offerings are diverse, and includes the subscription-based Office 365. One of the many benefits of a company using SaaS is it is generally cheaper than purchasing software for on-premise use: one software program can be delivered to many users, providing multiple use access via remote desktops and digital devices.

Office 365 is cloud-based suite of office productivity tools centered around many productivity components, such as social networking, document and content management.

A key module to this suite is the Office Online (formerly, Office Web Apps). Users have access to web-brower apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, users have a choice in licensing: View only, which is free, or Edit/View that requires an editing license.

Such ‘on demand’ software is being used more and more by businesses and organizations looking to move IT budgets from “capital expense to operational expense.” Also, many firms lack the proper IT staffing to afford the tasks of implementing and maintaining not only their on-premise software, but hardware as well.

The question business stakeholders must ask, as Microsoft notes on their overview on cloud services:

“…can on-demand resources free your time to offer more mission-critical services to workers or citizens, to reduce time spent on more mundane IT chores, or to get features into use more quickly?”

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