Clearly price is a major consideration from the point of view of a development shop and after taking a look at the various options I doubt that TFS in the cloud is going to be able to reduce this – ok, so you might be able to get rid of the once off server licensing, but you still end up paying a per seat license. One area that would be great would be if you could combine TFS in the cloud with the benefits associated with the partnering program. For example if I’m a certified partner, so I get 10 CALs, I can sign up for your TFS in the Cloud solution and only pay a relatively small amount for each user (ie the incremental cost (+markup) of hosting an additional user) instead of the amount inclusive of the CAL.
I guess the real benefits of a TFS in the cloud would be the fact that a team doesn’t have to host it themselves. In addition any upgrades or additional tools could be provisioned by the hosting company which means that all the subscribers benefits. The other thing would be if you could establish a community around the TFS in a cloud – the typical forums would be useful for people to share experiences.
I think when it comes down to it, it really comes down to a decision by an organisation as to whether they want to host their own TFS server(s). For what it’s worth if there is zero cost difference, I would much prefer to see this outsourced as it is one (or more) less thing that can go wrong for the dev team.