Market research firm IDC predicts that the software-as-a-service market will expand rather than contract during 2009, even as broader markets for products and services are declining or at a standstill.

The finding is the result of cumulative research and customer interviews conducted by IDC and predicts that the current economic crisis will actually contribute to growth of hosted service-based software. The research firm now says year over year spending on SaaS will increase 40.5 percent in 2009 rather than the 36 percent predicted earlier.

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