Symantec scoops up MessageLabs - alle ist klar

I nearly dropped my coffee cup yesterday lunchtime when the release came through that Symantec is buying into anti-spam specialist MessageLabs for a cool $695 million in readies.

The big question, I asked myself, is why would the software company want to buy into an Internet service firm?

And then it hit me - software-as-a-service (SAAS). I've just completed a feature on this topic, which is inextricably linked with Cloud Computing.

The whole industry, it seems, is on about Internet-enable services and computing.

I think you're going to see something of a seachange in software companies in the next year or so, as they all move into the SAAS space, either by offering their own applications on a remote basis, or by acquiring firms that offer this type of service.

The $64,000 question, of course, is whether the Internet has enough bandwidth to support everyone and their granny using the Net for their day-to-day computing, rather than relying on their local hard drive.

But that's the future. More immediately, the move will, I hope, see MessageLabs able to move into the small business service space, selling an Internet-based anti-spam service to small firms, an area that MessageLabs has always tended to eschew...