Ballmer develops software-plus-services plan

Microsoft's top executive for the first time outlined the company's plan to transition from a traditional software company to offering software plus services, giving some roadmap details for how the strategy will play out in the next year.

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Microsoft's top executive for the first time outlined the company's plan to transition from a traditional software company to offering software plus services, giving some roadmap details for how the strategy will play out in the next year.

In a keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer shed more details on the plan other executives such as chief software architect, Ray Ozzie have been teasing out over the past year – but not many more.

He gave a timeframe for the early part of the transition, but mostly echoed what other executives have said about Microsoft's slow transition to adding hosted business services to its traditional software portfolio.

"For software plus services, the time is now," Ballmer said. Over the next year he said Microsoft will continue to sell mostly on-premises software, but there will be more evidence of the transition to its hybrid model as the year goes on.

Since Microsoft began talking about its plan to gradually transition to offering more hosted services last year in a speech by Ozzie at its TechEd Conference in Boston, many noted that the company had no choice.

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