EDA is not a newcomer to the world of hosted applications and services, known as software as a service (SaaS). In the early days of the Web, EDA companies tested various business models that might allow them to reach more customers via the Internet.
Companies like Toolwire and Develop- Online entered the EDA market believing that they could be successful in EDA by offering design services over the Internet, essentially hosting the application for the design team. They thought success was a sure thing because of their novel approach and the potential cost benefits for clients.
The EDA market, however, was not quite as accepting of the nascent SaaS model--there were too many concerns about Internet security and limited bandwidth--and those efforts gradually sank to the background.
Flash forward to 2009. Companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft have had some success with cloud computing, hosted applications' nearest relative. No doubt, successful business models are out there addressing more mainstream markets, outside of the EDA community.