Software + ServicesI’ve just read a post by The Other James Brown entitled “S+S – Lifeline of SaaS?“. As you may well imagine,  I’m not a happy bunny with the implications in the title. Nevermind the content.

For anyone not familiar with the S+S concept, check out this Microsoft video on youtube that James linked to:

I first heard the phrase “Software plus services” from someone at Microsoft when they were asked about their Software-as-a-service strategy. My first thoughts then were that it was just a cop out, now I’m even more sure.

Essentially it seems to mean “We’ll still sell you software to install on your computer, but it’ll make use of some web based services.” OK, fine. Nothing wrong with that as a concept. But I don’t get how it has anything to do with Software as a service. It’s just not related.

It’s just a similar-sounding acronym designed by the old guard as a way of looking like they’re doing something to embrace, address or adopt SaaS.

As James implies on another post on his blog, S+S isn’t anything new – it’s just being pragmatic.

His closing paragraph on that post says

The future of Cloud computing is very bright, but it will only really shine when we bring together examples of how it can be used across multiple devices consumed by multiple applications.

I can’t disagree with that. If we’re talking about providing a local app to read/write data offline to later synch with the cloud when you are back online, then great. There’s plenty of times we’ve been asked if we can do something like that for users of our online accounting software. But to make the locally installed software central or essential to the online offering is a complete nonsense.

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