What is it about free stuff? Last week, Microsoft announced plans to offer a free anti-malware service, today, Salesforce is offering a free package on its Force.com Platform as a Service (PaaS) that includes a free Web site as well development space for one custom app.
"Force.com Free Edition will enable every company to experience success with cloud computing. This will empower anyone to build and run their first cloud computing app for free on Force.com," said Marc Benioff, Salesforce chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Developers are key to other companies but may not be as important in a SaaS environment.
"I think we are seeing Salesforce delivering bit-by-bit the first do-it-yourself app development kit. Where other companies like Microsoft depend on developers, Salesforce is aiming directly at the rest of us," said Bruce Richardson, AMR Research chief research officer, in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.
Salesforce integrators are enthusiastic. "With Salesforce's new offer, our customers will be able to experience the benefits of cloud computing -- quantifiable ROI, rapid time-to-value, and innovation that drives the business -- with significantly less investment and we're all for that," wrote Balakrishna Narasimhan, Appirio senior director of strategy and marketing in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.
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