Now Microsoft Wants to Be salesforce.com

Anyone hunting for proof that the install-and-manage software model is dying found it this week when Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Office division, told Computerworld that, over time, Office could be sold 100% via subscription.

That would amount to a profound shift in thinking. For years, Mr. Softy has made a good living developing and selling boxed and downloadable versions of the Office suite, with the biggest customers paying up for maintenance contracts that allowed for continual upgrades. Now the company is thinking of selling subscriptions and distributing online in a suite called Office 365.

salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM  ) foresaw the benefits of subscription sales more than a decade ago. The company has enjoyed heady revenue growth since, including a 36% jump over the trailing 12 months.

Would Microsoft realize similar benefits were it to adopt a pure-subscription model? Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova addresses this question and more in the video below. Please watch, and then be sure to leave a comment to let us know what you think.

And for more analysis of how its mobile and cloud ambitions will impact the stock, check out our brand-new premium research report, written especially for Microsoft investors like you. Inside our analysts dissects the opportunities and risks facing the company. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.


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  • Report this Comment On March 04, 2013, at 6:25 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Yes, but the big advantage Microsoft has is that you can have both Office 2013 (offline) and 365 (online) for a little more then the price of one. You can also have integration with MS Dynamics CRM.

  • Report this Comment On March 05, 2013, at 12:28 AM, TheGrowingValue wrote:

    This can be very bad for CRM. Cloud has been money losing businesses for most cloud companies (including CRM), so Microsoft was not very interested in it. But now If Microsoft decides to get into cloud business, CRM can be kicked out of business eventually just like Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3, etc.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2013, at 12:10 PM, greenberg67 wrote:

    I have no idea why when it comes to on demand/SaaS/Cloud Salesforce.com is always to be mentioned first....Niether have they invented the system or are profitable! It is just hype.....what about the other dozen or so vendors that 1) Profitable 2) More Innovative and 3) more than 10 years old such as Salesboom.com?

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