Really! What's in it for me, Microsoft?
As a reseller to small and medium business, I am already getting screwed by Microsoft on Office pricing, because my clients can buy at retail for pennies more than I pay at wholesale. This has given me motivation to push Open Office except when 1000% compatibility with Microsoft products is needed. So now Microsoft sticks all this on the cloud, meaning clients will need smaller hard drives and lower cost systems to use the cloud-based Office. Let's hope that the cloud has 99.999% availability and tight-as-can-be security, else people will become disenchanted. And, of course, the availability of the Microsoft cloud depends on local internet service providers and all those hidden providers of internet plumbing.
Microsoft has never offered any serious discounts and financial incentives to SMB resellers, instead charging for certifications. And they get beta testers to work on their products at below sweatshop wages, i.e. for free. So I guess this is no different.
Well, it will be interesting to watch... Ben