Considering the unbelievably optimistic projections of how fast SAAS and Cloud Computing are growing ( or are projected to grow ), it's hard to believe app vendors need much convincing to adapt some version of their apps so people can get them by subscription rather than the usual way.
So it's surprising to see Microsoft posting an elaborate come-on and demo aimed at app vendors to convince them to experiment with a "fun" little demo designed to show how their apps would look online as SAAS editions, not to mention a more head-on come-on to Salesforce.com users .
Until you realize SAAS and Cloud are already past being a novelty , and become a growing market for which to compete whether you're selling apps, platforms or things you can label "cloud " but don't describe very clearly otherwise.
"The cloud" has advanced to the point that Microsoft wants to be the cloud before "the cloud" (it's a metaphor, it's not one platform) becomes Windows.
Amazon might have started it with a price cut, but Microsoft is clearly starting up the old takeover machine to seduce or compel developers to its camp, slam the competition as monopolistic and technically flawed, and build market share with cut-price or free functions that compete directly with paid versions from the competition.
Call it a warning from Redmond; it's taking cloud seriously enough to get ready to fight dirty to own it.