Microsoft’s Biggest Client, Or Just A PR Stunt? – Part I

Microsoft’s Biggest Client, or Just a PR Stunt? – Part I

On April 13, Reuters ran a news item where “Microsoft announced its biggest-ever customer for cloud computing – software that it hosts on behalf of clients and delivers over the Internet – after winning a contract to provide free services to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)” (). Now, the first thing that struck me was the word “free” and left me thinking, “Does this truly make the AICTE Microsoft’s biggest client, or is this just a PR stunt full of fluff with no solidity?

I looked up the definition of the word “customer” on dictionary.com. Out of the many alternate definitions available, including the expected one of “a person who purchases goods or services from another,” I found the word “patron,” which in turn was defined as “a person whose support or protection is solicited.” In other words, perhaps a transaction where no money is changed hands can also have a customer if the latter’s support is desired. That set me thinking that Microsoft can actually benefit considerably from this deal.

First, a little background information on the news item in question. The AICTE, a part of India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, is the umbrella body that supervises the operations of engineering institutions throughout the country. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft would provide its cloud-based Live@edu communication and collaboration software to more than 7 million students and half a million teachers in engineering colleges across India. The software suite includes email, Microsoft Office Web Apps, instant messaging and storage. Students will get 10GB of storage space and email IDs customized to the institutions at which they study, according to Microsoft.

Now, here’s the interesting part. Live@edu, as per its website, is “transitioning into Office 365 for Education.” As the news goes, AICTE also plans to deploy this new suite “when it becomes available later this year, providing access to email, shared calendars, instant messaging, video conferencing and document collaboration through applications such as the Exchange Online email and calendar, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Office Professional”.  And most conveniently, as a Microsoft spokesperson said, “some of the higher-level, newer services on Office 365 for education may come with a price.”

This brought to my mind the Gillette Razorblade Model where the razor is sold at cost or even a loss, with sales on high-margin blades bringing in the cash. Building on this idea, basic software may be provided for free to attract users, and then money earned through incremental sales of advanced applications. This is definitely a possibility here. While the current software suite, with basic functionality, is offered for free, AICTE or even individual colleges may be charged for advanced functionality. Moreover, if they feel that they are getting value out of Microsoft cloud services, they will be more amenable to paying for something more.

For some other possibilities, read the concluding part Microsoft’s Biggest Client, or Just a PR Stunt? – Part II.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

One Response to Microsoft’s Biggest Client, Or Just A PR Stunt? – Part I

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Cloud servers offer power, flexibility, reliability, and client friendly hosting for small and medium businesses that have outgrown shared hosting. New business hosting clients are bombarded with an incredible diversity of different choices for their site’s hosting. It can be a challenge to negotiate the range of platforms and the marketing hype that many hosting…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Jaspersoft Big Data Survey Shows Rise in Commitment to Projects and Decline in Confusion Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft Community Members Participate in Second Jaspersoft Big Data Survey San Francisco, February 4, 2014 – Jaspersoft, the Intelligence Inside applications and business processes, today shared results from its Big Data Survey. Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft community members responded to…

Featured Sponsors

Salesforce Service Cloud: Air Traffic Control For Your Customer

Salesforce Service Cloud: Air Traffic Control For Your Customer

Salesforce Service Cloud One of the greatest benefits of the increasingly reliable and ubiquitous state of cloud technology is the removal of business silos and the consolidation of information flow, both in-house and on the road. This is of particular importance to the many different types of professionals whose work involves customer relationship management (CRM).…

Sponsors

Moving To The Cloud: A Smart Move Or Proceed With Caution?

Moving To The Cloud: A Smart Move Or Proceed With Caution?

Moving To The Cloud: A Smart Move Or Proceed With Caution? You hear it over and over again: The future of computing is in the cloud. Businesses should be moving to the cloud. If you’re not in the cloud, you’re behind the times. But trusting your essential data to a cloud may sound like a…

Placement Opportunities - Find Out!

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter