The software-as-a-service model isn't exactly new. In the late 1990s, companies with the concept were called "application service providers." The market leader remains San Francisco-based Salesforce.com, with more than 400,000 customers using its customer relationship management software.
As broadband access has increased and computer processors have grown faster, more people are finding software delivered over the Web a viable alternative to traditional software.
Charlie Wood has been in the technology industry for nearly 15 years. Last year, he noticed the increasing number of companies using the software as a service model and launched Spanning Partners, which creates applications that work with those sites.
Wood said a major reason for the increase in such online services is that renting servers and other costs related to hosting a Web site have dropped dramatically.
"A one-man startup like mine can deliver software more effectively and cheaply through a Web site than shipping out CDs," Wood said.
It's good to be occasionally reminded that many people find Software as a Service to be a novel idea, and have never even heard of "web feeds" or "microformats".