What is SaaS
Generally speaking there are also SaaS-like services in the society,
such identity management, the energy system, the health system. All
manage your personal information and you also have little control over
This is a misunderstanding -- when we say "SaaS", it does not include
them. It looks like there are different understandings of what SaaS
So we're going to switch to a different term, SaaSS (service as a
software substitute). That term explains what the issue is: using a
service for a computing activity that is your own personal activity,
so you could (at least in principle) do it by running a free program
all by yourself.
You could not get energy that way, so the energy system (I presume you
mean the electric grid) is not SaaSS. Running a program can't treat
an ailment, so the medical system is not SaaSS. "Identity management"
is too abstract for me to understand concretely; if that means a
mechanism for logging in on web sites, some of those sites might be
SaaSS but some are not.
however you find the benefits win over the odds. If we want to be
philosophical about it, government under democracy is also a form of
Participation in government is not _your own personal_ activity
(unless you're a despotic ruler). It is, by nature, a joint activity,
one of communication with others. So it can't be SaaSS; you could not
carry out your participation in government by running a program by
yourself in your own computer.
In the begining you define SaaS as running your
software on someone else computer, which raises an issue on control of
the software and your data. However, your statement here implies that
free software cannot be offered for use to people that cannot run their
own software due the above mentioned reasons. Wikipedia comes to my
mind as a example of this.
Wikipedia is not SaaSS. It is not anyone's own personal activity. It
is a joint activity. This is explained in
Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call