Microsoft braces for major customer shift

Microsoft Corp sees tens of millions of corporate e-mail accounts moving to its data centers over the next five years, shifting to a business model that may thin profit margins but generate more revenue.

In an interview ahead of the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit, Chris Capossela, who manages Microsoft's Office products, said the company will see more and more companies abandon their own in-house computer systems and shift to "cloud computing," a less expensive alternative.

Cloud computing is the trend by Internet powerhouses to array huge numbers of computers in centralized data centers to deliver Web-based applications to far-flung users.

Microsoft built its business selling software to run on local machines, both computer servers and personal computers, but, in recent years, it has invested billions of dollars in massive data centers, which are the basic infrastructure for a wide range of Web services.

It has started offering corporate customers the option of having Microsoft run their e-mail, collaboration or sales programs on the software giant's computers and delivering those applications over the Web as a monthly subscription service.

View: Yahoo News

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