The VAR Guy has a theory: Sure, thousands of Microsoft partners are seeking to host Exchange Server, Dynamics and SharePoint. But, our resident blogger believes, a good portion of the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry is going open source. First, Linux became popular for hosting applications. Now, open source applications like SugarCRM are increasingly shifting to the SaaS model.

The VAR Guy got all the evidence he needed by listening to a podcast featuring SugarCRM CEO John Roberts. In it, Roberts says roughly 30 percent of SugarCRM's now comes from SaaS-centric customers rather than on-premise deployments. And the figure continues to grow.

For VARs and solutions providers that grew up on Wintel servers, the shift to SaaS represents a natural inflection point. If you're ever going to diversify beyond traditional Wintel servers, now is the time to do it. A growing number of solutions providers already host MySQL, SugarCRM and other open source platforms.

Microsoft isn't going away. And The VAR Guy respects the fact that Microsoft freed us all from RISC hardware running Unix. But Linux further freed us on corporate servers. And now that open source movement is shifting into the SaaS applications space.