Here is one of my responses:
I do not like it either, but, hey, is not the first time we disagree with naming big things...
Anyway, better than analyze naming, I would go through the key areas involved in Software as a Service.
What SaaS enables?
- leverage massive economy of scale by sharing the infrastructure among tenants
- catch the long tail of the market
My father runs a shop. Buying a full blown server with SQL 2005 and Windows 2003 to run his software is not what he wants. Not only for the money, but he don't want problems mantaining both infrastructure and software. However, he needs software that just works. So this is the value proposition of SaaS. Application development costs are shared, the "enterprise grade" application can be offered to very small businesses as well.
So, if we are talking about the next big programming language, SaaS is not that guy. However, this is a social paradigm shift in terms of software delivery. As more people realize about the value around this model, more applications will be developed to fulfill their needs. That means that more tooling, guidance, abstractions, etc. software companies like Microsoft will deliver. And we as architect/developers will start writing this kind of applications sooner or later.
It's late now to change this name because it's in CIO's minds. But let's make the effort to explain this concept clearly!