Microsoft is pitching its forthcoming release of Office 2010 as a way of introducing SMEs to the reality of cloud computing.
Office 2010 is being released in June, but has already seen 7m beta downloads globally, with the option of parts of the suite being based on-premise or in the cloud.
It provides both resellers and users with the option of selling and using different aspects of the software via cloud subscription-based services.
Clare Barclay, UK head of partners at Microsoft, said that cloud was emerging on the customer agenda and the timing was right for a reseller led discussion about using hosted services.
"It's the time to be talking about cloud, monetarisation of cloud services and to offer a wider portfolio to our partners," she said.
"Some of the user nervousness around changing businesses models is going and it is now about how are resellers able to offer those services to customers," she added.
Microsoft has already indicated that the consumer prices for Office 2010 will be very competitive and Chris Adams, head of Office in the UK, said that it had also incorporated the same customer friendly approach with the business editions.
One of the key options for resellers is to provide parts of the suite as cloud services and provide coordination for the applications across platforms including desktop, phone and browser.
"We don't believe that software used on ther PC is going away anytime soon but the workforce is changing and there is a need for increased flexibility," he said.