Microsoft offers cloud computing a hearty handclasp

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Microsoft and Ray Ozzie cracked the door half open this morning on Windows Azure, the infrastructure formerly known as Windows Cloud. In the process, Ozzie served notice that IT will remain in the Windows/Office grip but with an abstraction layer that blurs the on-premise and on-demand worlds.

The outlines of Live Mesh’s role as arbiter of this abstraction were there to be inferred, but the details of how the Azure service bus arbitrates things like federated identity, workflow services, and overall services management will be left to Tuesday’s keynote. But the leisure with which Ozzie and his lieutenants roll out the announcements belies the speed with which Microsoft is executing this corner turn.

It’s called a community technology preview as a nod to the coveted developer crowd, with code distributed along with a freeze on cost that will likely last well into 2009. While that’s standard operating procedure for most platforms in this beta-is-rtm world, the inclusion of Dynamics CRM apps hosted in the cloud is at a minimum a shot across Salesforce’s bow.

A smidgen of Silverlight messaging glinted around the edges of the demos – colorful graphics and a cloud data-based auto-generated chart that popped up on Sharepoint Online. Where once Office Online seemed a pathetic attempt to escape the Office political vortex, now it’s starting to look more like an aggressive strategy to lock IT in and let IT manage users. The bet appears to be that offloading enough infrastructure costs from the enterprise will let Microsoft siphon services revenue as a condition of rapid transformation to more efficient cloud services.

We’ll need to wait for more details to decide how competitive the cloud play is, but Ozzie telegraphed one potential outcome when he thanked Amazon for pioneering the space with its cloud offerings. It certainly was sincere, but there was no mistaking the virtual gold watch, the famous proffered hearty handclasp, and the well-oiled “We’ll take it from here.”

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  • Jagtesh Chadh

    I’m not sure how this will play out, but the prospects are mouth watering. More competition = better services. Not to forget, more languages and platforms to choose from.

    The possibility of a .Net and Azure collab is mind-numbing.

  • Jagtesh Chadh

    I’m not sure how this will play out, but the prospects are mouth watering. More competition = better services. Not to forget, more languages and platforms to choose from.

    The possibility of a .Net and Azure collab is mind-numbing.

  • http://umbyte.com/2008/10/o-windows-de-nuvem-da-microsoft-e-o-windows-azure/ O Windows de “nuvem” da Microsoft é o Windows Azure » Um-byte

    […] Fonte: TechCrunch […]

  • http://umbyte.com/2008/10/o-windows-de-nuvem-da-microsoft-e-o-windows-azure/ O Windows de “nuvem” da Microsoft é o Windows Azure » Um-byte

    […] Fonte: TechCrunch […]

  • http://www.informednetworker.com/story/36583 informednetworker.com

    Microsoft offers cloud computing a hearty handclasp…

    Microsoft and Ray Ozzie cracked the door half open this morning on Windows Azure, the infrastructure formerly known as Windows Cloud. In the process, Ozzie served notice that IT will remain in the Windows/Office grip but with an abstraction layer that …

  • http://www.informednetworker.com/story/36583 informednetworker.com

    Microsoft offers cloud computing a hearty handclasp…

    Microsoft and Ray Ozzie cracked the door half open this morning on Windows Azure, the infrastructure formerly known as Windows Cloud. In the process, Ozzie served notice that IT will remain in the Windows/Office grip but with an abstraction layer that …

  • Isaac Bentov

    who still talks about Silverlight, among circle of engineers (many of which are .net developers) agree that the Flash player has the clear upper hand.

    • Tim

      If netflix is successful deploying Watch Now on Macs via silverlight, that might change.

  • Isaac Bentov

    who still talks about Silverlight, among circle of engineers (many of which are .net developers) agree that the Flash player has the clear upper hand.

    • Tim

      If netflix is successful deploying Watch Now on Macs via silverlight, that might change.

  • http://www.buzzdup.com/us/story/861 buzzdup.com

    Microsoft offers cloud computing a hearty handclasp…

    Microsoft and Ray Ozzie cracked the door half open this morning on Windows Azure, the infrastructure formerly known as Windows Cloud. In the process, Ozzie served notice that IT will remain in the Windows/Office grip but with an abstraction layer that …

  • http://www.buzzdup.com/us/story/861 buzzdup.com

    Microsoft offers cloud computing a hearty handclasp…

    Microsoft and Ray Ozzie cracked the door half open this morning on Windows Azure, the infrastructure formerly known as Windows Cloud. In the process, Ozzie served notice that IT will remain in the Windows/Office grip but with an abstraction layer that …

  • http://darknessatnoon.com/?p=524 Darkness at Noon » I just don’t trust them

    […] and Techcrunch both have posts about Microsoft’s venture into “cloud computing” with Windows […]

  • http://darknessatnoon.com/?p=524 Darkness at Noon » I just don’t trust them

    […] and Techcrunch both have posts about Microsoft’s venture into “cloud computing” with Windows […]

  • oy

    Please explain what you’re saying in the article for laymen. I have no idea what half the article is saying.

    “n the process, Ozzie served notice that IT will remain in the Windows/Office grip but with an abstraction layer that blurs the on-premise and on-demand worlds.

    The outlines of Live Mesh’s role as arbiter of this abstraction were there to be inferred, but the details of how the Azure service bus arbitrates things like federated identity, workflow services, and overall services management will be left to Tuesday’s keynote.” ….

    “Where once Office Online seemed a pathetic attempt to escape the Office political vortex, now it’s starting to look more like an aggressive strategy to lock IT in and let IT manage users.”

    Journalism: short, clear, concise. please

  • oy

    Please explain what you’re saying in the article for laymen. I have no idea what half the article is saying.

    “n the process, Ozzie served notice that IT will remain in the Windows/Office grip but with an abstraction layer that blurs the on-premise and on-demand worlds.

    The outlines of Live Mesh’s role as arbiter of this abstraction were there to be inferred, but the details of how the Azure service bus arbitrates things like federated identity, workflow services, and overall services management will be left to Tuesday’s keynote.” ….

    “Where once Office Online seemed a pathetic attempt to escape the Office political vortex, now it’s starting to look more like an aggressive strategy to lock IT in and let IT manage users.”

    Journalism: short, clear, concise. please

  • http://profy.com/2008/10/27/microsoft-azure-enters-crowded-cloud-computing-market/ Svetlana Gladkova

    What I still don’t understand is why Microsoft needs to call every new product an operating system. Do they think no one will notice they simply enter an already crowded market because they call their product otherwise?

  • http://profy.com/2008/10/27/microsoft-azure-enters-crowded-cloud-computing-market/ Svetlana Gladkova

    What I still don’t understand is why Microsoft needs to call every new product an operating system. Do they think no one will notice they simply enter an already crowded market because they call their product otherwise?

  • http://www.webcloudworld.com/cloud-computing/windows-azure-microsofts-step-into-the-cloud/ Webcloud World

    Windows Azure : Microsoft’s step into the Cloud…

    “The Azure™ Services Platform is an internet-scale cloud computing and services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers. The Azure Services Platform provides a range of functionality to build applications that span from consumer web to enterp…

  • http://www.webcloudworld.com/cloud-computing/windows-azure-microsofts-step-into-the-cloud/ Webcloud World

    Windows Azure : Microsoft’s step into the Cloud…

    “The Azure™ Services Platform is an internet-scale cloud computing and services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers. The Azure Services Platform provides a range of functionality to build applications that span from consumer web to enterp…

  • http://www.graphicrating.com Andy Gongea

    Never mind the story, the clip was brilliant. :D

  • http://www.graphicrating.com Andy Gongea

    Never mind the story, the clip was brilliant. :D

  • http://www.techcrunchit.com/2008/10/28/video-interview-microsofts-bob-muglia-on-going-after-the-cloud/ Video Interview: Microsoft’s Bob Muglia On Going After The Cloud

    […] Microsoft senior exec Bob Muglia on camera for an interview that touches upon Microsoft’s new cloud initiatives, how it relates to its existing server business, Silverlight, and what Microsoft is like without […]

  • http://www.techcrunchit.com/2008/10/28/video-interview-microsofts-bob-muglia-on-going-after-the-cloud/ Video Interview: Microsoft’s Bob Muglia On Going After The Cloud

    […] Microsoft senior exec Bob Muglia on camera for an interview that touches upon Microsoft’s new cloud initiatives, how it relates to its existing server business, Silverlight, and what Microsoft is like without […]

  • http://www.quick.tv/blog/index.php/2008/10/31/58/ Highlights of 2008 | Quick.TV Blog

    […] it the future? Microsoft now thinks so, and others are following suit. There has been a real explosion in the popularity of this recently […]

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