Microsoft and the US National Science Foundation have announced an agreement that will provide free access to cloud computing resources for select NSF-funded researchers for the next three years. This was discussed by Microsoft's corporate VP for tech strategy and policy, Dan Reed, in a blog. Instead of buying supercomputers …
So, there you are, a selected-for-merit NSF-funded researcher strapped for cpu cycles. Now consider that most large-scale computing research traditionally involved some flavour of unix, and therefore most libraries and tools are written for stabler environments than micros~1 tends to offer. And then you get free azure access. Sounds like a bit of a booby prize to me.
Of course it's entirely clear to me why micros~1 would want you to use their software. It's not clear to me that's such a good idea for research. Recall the auto-formatting bug^H^H^Hfeatures in excel so expertly trouncing lab results?
This Can Only End Badly.
Just as some scientists discovers the cure for cancer/baldness/AIDS/world hunger, Microsoft suffer a Danger-style data loss. Great.
Microsoft - products so good they have to give them away.
WTF... share data & microsoft
in the same sentence...
What's the line about the drug dealer and first sample being free??
Nothing of good (except possibly for microsoft) will possibly come of this.
Right now, Microsoft is absolutely shoving "Cloud Computing" down everyone's throats... continually, and almost rabidly, telling us how we can smooth the, "...transition to Cloud Computing ...for our customers" (read: help Microsoft finally achieve complete control over customers, institute virtually-complete loss of consumer-choice, and fully-implement perpetual, and, actually, higher-cost, -rent- being paid to Microsoft, simply for the --privilege-- of using computers, at all).
The real problem (for Microsoft) is that... NO-ONE, not our customers, not new clients, not individual-users, nor any IT-professionals that we know (including, ourselves)... have any intention, what-so-ever, of, ever, voluntarily transitioning to Microsoft's (or any body else's) entire pay-as-you-go, perpetually-pay-for-what-you-use, and have absolutely no real control over your own computers/infrastructure... consumer-nightmare, of... "Software as a Service".
...Which is probably why Microsoft is again expending so much effort trying to convince everyone that WE [the consumer] have already accepted, and actually want, "SaaS". My fear is that Microsoft already has, well-laid-out, plans and mechanisms which will virtually impose this final scheme on the marketplace.
Talk endlessly about X...
Act as though everybody already wants X...
Roll-out X, while making a big show of pretending to be giving everybody what they wanted...
Make it damned hard (if not virtually impossible) to realistically avoid X...
...And, finally, attack and ridicule anyone that points-out the negative facts about X... or what is actually going on.
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