Yesterday, Microsoft launched BizTalk 2004 beta. This product facilitates BPEL and web service orchestration.
Today, Salesforce.com launched a new offering that they are calling "sforce". This is a hosted, web services model that allows developers to build applications (or services) and host them at a remote location. The remote location is enabling the developer to leverage some predetermined infrastructure. In this case, sForce will be offering local services for content management, searching, etc. This is what I have been calling a WSP (Web Service Provider). It is interesting to see that the services that the WSP will provide goes beyond metrics, billing and authentication. Please see: http://www.sforce.com/us/
Between these two announcements, I think it is safe to say that this week marks the beginning of the "Software as a Service" era. SalesForce is also calling it the "client/service" model.
The race is on.