Rented software for small companies

I was reading an article from 1998 on the future of rented applications for small businesses.  Interestingly, all of the companies profiled are still in business with fundamentally unchanged business models.

 There are lot of good applications out there...but it's still sometimes hard to find them.  I've used and like Intuit's Quickbase, my site is a service from a company Squarespace, saleforce.com is maybe the banner child for this.  Software exists to make life easier...companies who understand that replacing the challenges the software fixes with the challenges of trying to manage the software is not a gain, are way ahead of the curve, still.