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Cloud computing, managed services, Software as a Service (SaaS), software on demand, Software+Service, Platform as a Service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service have all been used to describe new ways to build, deliver, and purchase software. Are they just different names for the same thing, or are they similar names for different ideas? This paper is written as a primer for anyone trying to make sense of what many believe is the third major wave of computing, after mainframe, and client-server computing. While it contains some aspects of technology the paper is first and foremost written from a business perspective.
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