Critics may say that not housing its cloud offerings under the roof of a single division will hurt Microsoft's agility in the fast-moving SaaS market. But others think this will result in less revenue cannibalization and harmful political infighting inside Microsoft.
"I think it makes sense for the original product group to own the product so it can create a vertically integrated strategy," said Rob Helm, an analyst with the independent research firm Directions on Microsoft. He cited as an example Microsoft's tactic of offering vouchers to Exchange and SharePoint customers that let them try Exchange and SharePoint Online for free.
Helm's main criticism is that Microsoft has too many cloud services today, with an overlap as a result. He cited the example of SQL Server Data Services, Live Mesh, and its Sync Framework.
"How is Microsoft going to resolve this?" Helm asked.