On April 22 the application virtualization firm Endeavors Technologies announced that was about to offer a streamed version of Office according to the new Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) that allows 3rd party vendors to do so.
Unable to find a confirmation in the available SPLA, virtualization.info contacted Microsoft asking for a clarification.
The answer was surprising: while Office can now be streamed through Application Virtualization (as announced in January 2008), the current SPLA doesn’t extend the capability to any 3rd party, and Microsoft was completely unaware of the Endeavors announcement.
The Endeavors attempt joins the Fasthosts one, a UK hosting company which started to offer a streamed version of Microsoft Office using AppStream technology in February.
If any of the two companies release an official statement about this story this post will be updated accordingly.
Update: This story is more complex than expected.
Endeavors provided evidence of an existing Microsoft pilot program to offer streamed Office through SPLA, but Microsoft replays that the invitation for such program was sent by mistake and that such opportunity doesn’t exist at today.
Now it’s very probable that Endeavors will be obliged to pull all its press announcement and wait for an official call from Microsoft.
What it sure is that Microsoft is at least evaluating the opportunity to allow 3rd parties to stream Office.
Second update: It seems that Endeavors is not the only company which was mistakenly involved in the SPLA affair.
The UK company Click Manageware, a subsidiary of Remote IT, announced the adoption of the new Microsoft SPLA program on May 4.
Click Manageware resells the capability to stream Office through AppSense instead or Endeavors application virtualization technology, but the substance doesn’t change.
The company was so sure about the new initiative that opened an entirely new section of its website.
The program description reveals that Microsoft plans to disclose the new program by early June 2008.
At this point there are only two possibilities:
- Microsoft wants to keep the news secret until that time by denying it (mission failed)
- Microsoft changed its mind completely and delayed the program (forgetting to tell everybody)
Third update: On May 19 (maybe even earlier), all the mistakes are corrected.
Nor Endeavors neither Click Manageware publish anymore news about the secret SPLA update that Microsoft refused to recognize.
Click Manageware even modified its press release where possible.
Both companies removed their materials without issuing any official announcement or explanation.
Besides the statements that were sent to virtualization.info, Microsoft didn’t officially comment as well.
A license for 3rd parties to stream Office will definitively come, but not today.