Office Web Components v Excel Services

Think the Office Web Components are dead? Think they can't possibly stack up to the new kid on the block?
Consider this.
The new offering of Excel Services is certainly potent. However, the new Client Access License (CAL) may put Excel Services way out of reach for small shops with no big budgets. Excel Services web parts may be cool but unjustifiable if users are forced to purchase SharePoint 2007.

While we wait patiently on the final shape of these new CAL's, you should err on the side of caution. CAL's are how Microsoft intends to recoup investment costs in bringing Office products to market. You should realistically expect that the new CAL's may be constructed in such a way that businesses may be forced to purchase products in bundles. Such a move could lead to software shops paying for services and products that aren't needed in order to get to products that are needed. Don't forget, the OWC was crippled by restrictive licensing. It certainly seems that Excel Services is headed that way.

There's a lot of noise being made about the exciting features and functionality – I'm certainly guilty of that [see my ASPNet Pro August feature article]. Have you heard the same amount of fanfare about the licensing terms of use? Isn't that the most important thing that drives adoption in the industry? Shouldn't more attention be focused on that area? While you ponder that, I'd suggest you start giving the old OWC a brand new look for your development needs.

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