Sam Ramji opens SaaS program at Microsoft

Sam Ramji says “the complaints department is open.” Heheh! Oh, Sam, you have no idea. It’s been open for years. But, it’s good to see Sam and others pay attention to the emerging business space (cough, developers who are firing Microsoft cause we’re too expensive, too hard to deal with, etc).

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Thanks, Robert – and to the community: I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last 4 months listening to SaaS companies about the problems they’ve had using our stuff, what’s wrong with our licensing, and why they’ve adopted or not adopted our infrastructure. I am totally committed to fixing the problems – and it may surprise you, but I’ve found a good-sized set of people across the company who “get it” and are part of the solution.

    Seriously, tell me what you want to see in a Microsoft offering for SaaS startups!

  2. Thanks, Robert – and to the community: I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last 4 months listening to SaaS companies about the problems they’ve had using our stuff, what’s wrong with our licensing, and why they’ve adopted or not adopted our infrastructure. I am totally committed to fixing the problems – and it may surprise you, but I’ve found a good-sized set of people across the company who “get it” and are part of the solution.

    Seriously, tell me what you want to see in a Microsoft offering for SaaS startups!

  3. I don’t know what’s the big deal is about.

    You can deploy your “web 2.0″ gizmo on hosted (not shared) Windows 2003 servers for as low as 100 dollar a month. Get into Empower program and you get goodies for $375. If you are developing in C# for products, you don’t need the VSTS or other “enterprise” level features. All other development tools for .Net has already been filled by many open source projects (NUnit, NDOC, Cruise Control, etc, etc). Get the professional or even Express version of VS 2005 and you save a bundle on that too.

    If you don’t want to buy SQL Server for production right, hosting companies also offers db servers with SQL licensing included.

  4. I don’t know what’s the big deal is about.

    You can deploy your “web 2.0″ gizmo on hosted (not shared) Windows 2003 servers for as low as 100 dollar a month. Get into Empower program and you get goodies for $375. If you are developing in C# for products, you don’t need the VSTS or other “enterprise” level features. All other development tools for .Net has already been filled by many open source projects (NUnit, NDOC, Cruise Control, etc, etc). Get the professional or even Express version of VS 2005 and you save a bundle on that too.

    If you don’t want to buy SQL Server for production right, hosting companies also offers db servers with SQL licensing included.

  5. Sam: I don’t want to open a new account just to comment on your blog

    This is great news for me.
    I used to work all MS stuff at my company, but now that I’m oppening my own mISV, it will be easier if I can use SQL server, etc (all the stuff I already know).

    Dody: I like to use my own server, so I can do all kind of strange stuff (like running demons, beta software, etc), so I can’t go with hosted enviroments (not to add that really pro services are expensive.

  6. Sam: I don’t want to open a new account just to comment on your blog

    This is great news for me.
    I used to work all MS stuff at my company, but now that I’m oppening my own mISV, it will be easier if I can use SQL server, etc (all the stuff I already know).

    Dody: I like to use my own server, so I can do all kind of strange stuff (like running demons, beta software, etc), so I can’t go with hosted enviroments (not to add that really pro services are expensive.

  7. Edddy,

    check out 1and1.com or other similar services. You get managed server (not shared hosting) starting for 89 dollars per month with NO CONTRACT. You can install whatever beta software, demons, etc you fancy through Remote Desktop.

  8. Edddy,

    check out 1and1.com or other similar services. You get managed server (not shared hosting) starting for 89 dollars per month with NO CONTRACT. You can install whatever beta software, demons, etc you fancy through Remote Desktop.

  9. Microsoft will never lower prices of current products (Office,Windows). if they did and they got the quarterly results back shareholders will run wild!.

  10. Microsoft will never lower prices of current products (Office,Windows). if they did and they got the quarterly results back shareholders will run wild!.

  11. With Scoble talking about SaaS and all the other stuff I have been seeing this week, I just had to chime in. My company Knowledge Mgmt. Solutions, Inc. has been offering Microsoft software since 2000 in which we sign a SPLA agreement and the next year in 2001, we sign an agreement for Passport with the idea to use Passport as a secure means to access Microsoft software in a web-based solution. In response to Sam Ramji’s post he talks about launching a SaaS Empower program; this I would very much be interested in discussing further. For instance, we are offering a dedicated server for 71.00 USD per month and under the SPLA program we are offering Visual Studio for 51.88 USD per month per user, this allows small to medium developer companies to use the full capabilities of Visual Studio for the time of the project that they are working on without having to purchase the retail version and allocate pricing for that expense – this takes total cost of ownership to a zero cost of ownership. This is a breakdown of the 51.88 as we have to license it, for Windows Standard Edition Server 3.60 USD, for Windows Terminal Server 3.29 and for Visual Studio Enterprise Edition 44.99, we than add a percent on this for managed hosting in a shared environment; but if customer leases a server we then set up the server to allocate which user is what offering whether it’s Office, Exchange, Project or any of the other software offered at Microsoft. Even at the end of last week, we were discussing this with Microsoft and the upcoming Microsoft Solution for Applications as a means for deploying, managing and provisions sites for service providers, hosters and business. Shoot, for that matter if we could actual find a team within Microsoft that does this now and would work with us – send us a check and we can get this up and running within the next 6 months. I would very much like to hear from other service providers, hosters, businesses and developers as next week we begin discussing licenses with Microsoft for these offerings. You can contact me at kevin@knowledgemgmtsolutions.com of call my cell at 620-272-3927.

  12. With Scoble talking about SaaS and all the other stuff I have been seeing this week, I just had to chime in. My company Knowledge Mgmt. Solutions, Inc. has been offering Microsoft software since 2000 in which we sign a SPLA agreement and the next year in 2001, we sign an agreement for Passport with the idea to use Passport as a secure means to access Microsoft software in a web-based solution. In response to Sam Ramji’s post he talks about launching a SaaS Empower program; this I would very much be interested in discussing further. For instance, we are offering a dedicated server for 71.00 USD per month and under the SPLA program we are offering Visual Studio for 51.88 USD per month per user, this allows small to medium developer companies to use the full capabilities of Visual Studio for the time of the project that they are working on without having to purchase the retail version and allocate pricing for that expense – this takes total cost of ownership to a zero cost of ownership. This is a breakdown of the 51.88 as we have to license it, for Windows Standard Edition Server 3.60 USD, for Windows Terminal Server 3.29 and for Visual Studio Enterprise Edition 44.99, we than add a percent on this for managed hosting in a shared environment; but if customer leases a server we then set up the server to allocate which user is what offering whether it’s Office, Exchange, Project or any of the other software offered at Microsoft. Even at the end of last week, we were discussing this with Microsoft and the upcoming Microsoft Solution for Applications as a means for deploying, managing and provisions sites for service providers, hosters and business. Shoot, for that matter if we could actual find a team within Microsoft that does this now and would work with us – send us a check and we can get this up and running within the next 6 months. I would very much like to hear from other service providers, hosters, businesses and developers as next week we begin discussing licenses with Microsoft for these offerings. You can contact me at kevin@knowledgemgmtsolutions.com of call my cell at 620-272-3927.

  13. Maybe could have the same type of thing for Software Assurance? ;)

    There’s a program forever in retweaking, making SA mandatory in order to qualify for the Enterprise edition, trainwreck of a blunder. Amazing. How many times over can you pay for software, that’s the “service”. Gartner says kick ups from 33 percent to 107 percent for most customers, wheeee and now madatory for certain types of software. Pay double, get same. And all the bloggers eternally wonder ‘Why do they hate us? We are just smart geeks. Blogging makes us human’. Look at the bigger picture, geesh. CompuWare is similar to MFST, stubborn and not too flexible, window dressings that never fix the problem. Two companies in for a future rough ride, I can feel it.

    So work in those liability clauses. But Microsoft’s only saving grace is that Open Source and Linux and Apple and all other desktop competitors are weak. But people aren’t sticking with Microsoft out of love. As for the start-up program, ummm too little, too late. Good move I guess, but not where the main thrust needs to be. As at that level you are also dealing with religious attitudes, something you will never be able to fully fix.

    PS – If you want an everlasting complaints dept. talk to the people on the SA program. ;)

  14. Maybe could have the same type of thing for Software Assurance? ;)

    There’s a program forever in retweaking, making SA mandatory in order to qualify for the Enterprise edition, trainwreck of a blunder. Amazing. How many times over can you pay for software, that’s the “service”. Gartner says kick ups from 33 percent to 107 percent for most customers, wheeee and now madatory for certain types of software. Pay double, get same. And all the bloggers eternally wonder ‘Why do they hate us? We are just smart geeks. Blogging makes us human’. Look at the bigger picture, geesh. CompuWare is similar to MFST, stubborn and not too flexible, window dressings that never fix the problem. Two companies in for a future rough ride, I can feel it.

    So work in those liability clauses. But Microsoft’s only saving grace is that Open Source and Linux and Apple and all other desktop competitors are weak. But people aren’t sticking with Microsoft out of love. As for the start-up program, ummm too little, too late. Good move I guess, but not where the main thrust needs to be. As at that level you are also dealing with religious attitudes, something you will never be able to fully fix.

    PS – If you want an everlasting complaints dept. talk to the people on the SA program. ;)

  15. Scoble,

    I tried to complain and microsoft (mail4.microsoft.com) bounced with this detail message.

    Reporting-MTA: dns;hotmail.com
    Received-From-MTA: dns;mail.hotmail.com
    Arrival-Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 13:49:34 -0800

    Final-Recipient: rfc822;sramji@microsoft.com
    Action: failed
    Status: 5.7.1
    Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 5.7.1

    Here is the text of my response:

    Hi,

    I like that you are trying to do something to respond to this bleak situation. Compared to .NET, it costs almost nothing for me to develop on the LAMP platform. I can get a powerful DELL-based Linux, VPS server with all the development tools and goodies that I need for $50/month.

    Until you get the cost of setting up a development environment under $100, you will not see enough traction to make a difference for MS business.

    I am working on a Sharepoint/Infopath/.NET implementation. I wish I could use my WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySql, PHP) FREE environment (or Ruby on
    Rails) to develop this on.

    As it is now, under the MS umbrella of software development offerings, I am going to need to shell out at least $2000, maybe more to get it going, and I am already a MS Partner Member!

    I am not happy about this. I think that MS needs to find a way to subsidize the developers and set them free.

    Keep going and keep trying.

    Regards,
    David Wilkinson
    http://blogs.opml.org/thewilk/

    I would appreciate it if you could forward this to Sam, as it appears that microsoft does not like hotmail accounts.

    Thanks…

  16. Scoble,

    I tried to complain and microsoft (mail4.microsoft.com) bounced with this detail message.

    Reporting-MTA: dns;hotmail.com
    Received-From-MTA: dns;mail.hotmail.com
    Arrival-Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 13:49:34 -0800

    Final-Recipient: rfc822;sramji@microsoft.com
    Action: failed
    Status: 5.7.1
    Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 5.7.1

    Here is the text of my response:

    Hi,

    I like that you are trying to do something to respond to this bleak situation. Compared to .NET, it costs almost nothing for me to develop on the LAMP platform. I can get a powerful DELL-based Linux, VPS server with all the development tools and goodies that I need for $50/month.

    Until you get the cost of setting up a development environment under $100, you will not see enough traction to make a difference for MS business.

    I am working on a Sharepoint/Infopath/.NET implementation. I wish I could use my WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySql, PHP) FREE environment (or Ruby on
    Rails) to develop this on.

    As it is now, under the MS umbrella of software development offerings, I am going to need to shell out at least $2000, maybe more to get it going, and I am already a MS Partner Member!

    I am not happy about this. I think that MS needs to find a way to subsidize the developers and set them free.

    Keep going and keep trying.

    Regards,
    David Wilkinson
    http://blogs.opml.org/thewilk/

    I would appreciate it if you could forward this to Sam, as it appears that microsoft does not like hotmail accounts.

    Thanks…

  17. David:

    Happened to me quite a few times when I try to email Scoble. I think he has me on his spam list :p

    But seriously, just try again at another time, it will usually go thru the second… or third time.

  18. David:

    Happened to me quite a few times when I try to email Scoble. I think he has me on his spam list :p

    But seriously, just try again at another time, it will usually go thru the second… or third time.

  19. It’s not Scoble, it’s the overagressive Microsoft spam filter. But you know what’s funny? Copy the full text of most recent MFST PR’s and send it to a @microsoft.com from a new innocent addy, I have had it rejected near 90% of the time. Microsoft gateway spam-filters reading Microsoft Press Pass PR as spam, heh, saves us the trouble. :)

  20. It’s not Scoble, it’s the overagressive Microsoft spam filter. But you know what’s funny? Copy the full text of most recent MFST PR’s and send it to a @microsoft.com from a new innocent addy, I have had it rejected near 90% of the time. Microsoft gateway spam-filters reading Microsoft Press Pass PR as spam, heh, saves us the trouble. :)

  21. […] If you go to Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble’s site and run a search on SaaS, the first thing that comes up is this piece with comments form the team leader saying: I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last 4 months listening to SaaS companies about the problems they’ve had using our stuff, what’s wrong with our licensing, and why they’ve adopted or not adopted our infrastructure. I am totally committed to fixing the problems – and it may surprise you, but I’ve found a good-sized set of people across the company who “get it” and are part of the solution. […]