We have said in previous articles that Microsoft and other brands cannot keep selling software for profit when there are alternatives for free thanks to open source in some cases.
It seems that Microsoft are now taking action against the software and services that are eating into their ability to make profit from software. Their latest step towards change is “Windows Azure” and this is not a new operating system as we know them but more a move in the direction to end making retail software for profit.
Products and services like Linux and Gmail has driven Microsoft to create Windows Azure, this direction takes them a step closer to the hosted services market. At the start of 2008, Microsoft opened massive datacenters in San Antonio, Texas and Washington State.
The plan is simple, to have the ability to give millions of customers applications on tap from the web (The Cloud) in the coming years. They can then charge these people a subscription fee for that service; this will cover software, maintenance, hosting, and upgrades.
Microsoft has been losing the battle to make money from selling software, and this has been thanks to services like Gmail and products like Linux, but what’s funny is how long it has taken Microsoft to make this change.
IBM have already been in that place for a decade, they have known there is so much free stuff around that making money out of lines of code is not future proof. Not only that, but the communities building the free software can do a better job than paid software sometimes.
IBM have been selling software support services, integration, installation, and hosting for some time now. Windows Azure might be the right move for Microsoft but they are a little late, and they also have no choice but to change either.