In a recent blog post, SaaS Blogger Phil Wainewright made some excellent points on what defines a SaaS client.
Some purists may disagree, but my definition of a SaaS client goes outside of the browser to include a client that runs on the desktop machine so long as it’s still controlled and managed from the Web.
Phil's definition, reinforces the views I have repeatedly expressed in this blog.
Software+Services or SaaS, the key word is Service not Software.
Phil discusses the real world examples of this happening, including RightNow who have showcased their new On Demand Release which utilizes Microsoft .NET Framework capabilities.
This is still true Software as a Service, because all the benefits of the Multi-tenant single code base exist in these flavors of SaaS client.
There are viable alternatives to pure browser based solutions, which up the ante in UI presentation and brings parity between traditional Client/Server (On premise) UI and SaaS UI.
What's next then? as per my previous posts I predict sometime in the future, Desktop and Browser will merge again. When a user boots up her computer, or utilizes their smart phone, it will be one and the same. SaaS will ensure accessibility to data in the cloud from all devices and not just via browsers. Cloud services will enable advanced deployment capabilities for SaaS client apps which will access services and data provided by a myriad of SaaS vendors.