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MS Office on iOS is OFF the menu, says Fujitsu as it nixes Personal Cloud

'Whole licensing landscape needs to change' moans CTO

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Fujitsu has put its Personal Cloud project on ice after failing to reach licensing agreements with the likes of Microsoft to deliver applications on devices that could run an HTML 5 browser.

However, Joseph Reger, the Japanese vendor’s CTO, says he still believes the licensing model is inevitable as customers become disenchanted with existing all-you-can-eat license models that force them to pay for software and features that are rarely fully utilised.

Fujitsu first aired a Personal Cloud trial last year. The aim was allow users to access their “Personal Cloud” on any device that could run an HTML5 browser over any network.

At the time, Reger said the technology was in place to run productivity apps, including the full Office suite, on devices including iOS and Android. The only barrier was negotiating the appropriate licences.

It appears negotiations to develop the appropriate licence model have come to naught, with Reger telling us last week: “It didn’t go anywhere.”

While the firm had planned user trials of the scheme this year, Reger said the Personal Cloud project is now on hold: “There are no current licensing schemes for the end customer for doing that...we need change in the whole licensing landscape to do it.”

However, he said it was inevitable that something similar would have to be “put on the front burner at some point” as enterprises increasingly became aware that enterprise licenses were not actually good value for them.

In most companies, said Reger, “a big part of the staff does not require very sophisticated access [sic] to company information systems."

Rather, he says, they are simply consumers of information created by others, yet software models and corporate systems don't reflect this. “This is one of the reasons why Windows 8 is faring the way it’s faring,” says Reger.

The tech chief claimed “every CIO I speak to” is deliberating on how to match individual user profiles to specific sets of functionality. “If the profiles are very different and can be served well at very different price points, then how do I do that?”

“The conventional answer - take a flat licence of some big package for the whole enterprise – is, maybe, not an option now."

But established vendors were unable to make the switch, at best offering a monthly payment model that doesn’t actually offer much of a saving.

“The only change is caused by new entrants who challenge and push a different value proposition, typically with a smaller feature set. Because it turns out you don’t need the original feature set,” he concluded.

Microsoft declined to comment. ®

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