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back to article Conviction and confusion in Microsoft's cloud strategy

Microsoft's Windows platform may be under attack from the cloud, but you wouldn't know it here at the company's TechEd in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference is a sell-out, with 10,500 attendees mostly on the IT professional side of the industry, in contrast to last year's event in Los Angeles, California, which only …

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MS Azure - 5 "Editions" and counting

One thing that MS doesn't get with its transition to the cloud is simplication. Windows is sold in too many "editions", Office is sold in more additions that there are products in the suite and now Azure continues the trend. There are already 4 additions available and a 5th coming in August (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/offers/)

Compare that to Google Apps - free up to specific limits and then simple unit fees for usage. (http://code.google.com/appengine/business/#billing)

If the market really is small businesses, perhaps selling a service that doesn't involve a legal team to choose the correct edition would be a place to start.

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Conflicted vs Blanced

What you call conflicted I call balanced. MS is working to develop a product lineup that spans on-premise and cloud solutions and allows enterprises to choose when and where each makes sense for them. As an IT professional I far prefer this logic compared to those that push all or nothing solutions. The reality is while technology writers can pontificate until they are blue in the face about how great the cloud is and how everything will move there, actual IT professionals understand there will always be a need for on-premise solutions. If MS pulls off providing integrated solutions that allows for centralized management of on premise and cloud solutions they will have a major win on their hands.

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Boffin

@optimus

If the strategy was truly balanced, do you think that the best example they could come up with for a business-related question would be to point out how many people are signed up for Xbox live? Not that there is any coercion involved in getting those consumer sign-ups, of course - there are so many alternatives once you have actually bought an Xbox after all...

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@The First Dave

I'm not sure you understand the term strategy. If you look at the strategy they are laying out for the future it looks like a balanced and solid plan. Only time will tell if they can pull it off. As an IT professional who actually administers stuff I can say that I've been very pleased with the direction that MS has been taking their server offerings. The steps they have made around integration and managability make my life better. If they can continue that into the new realm of cloud breathing down my neck I'll be very happy. Xbox live if nothing else serves as proof that MS has the experience and ability to manage such a large cloud type service.

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Conundrum

With 90,000+ employees and numerous internal divisions clamoring for continued paychecks and struggling to prove their relevance, as well as shareholders with entirely different requirements, it seems reasonable to say that puzzling complexity and cost will necessarily remain a conspicuous feature of Microsoft's offerings.

Meanwhile the promise of "The Cloud" is simplicity and savings. How will Microsoft and "The Cloud" mesh? Possibly a case of "too big not to fail."

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The Great Game Master Pilot ..... in XSSXXXX Boxed Beta Edition Renditions*.

"Meanwhile the promise of "The Cloud" is simplicity and savings." .... Doug Bostrom Posted Wednesday 9th June 2010 00:00 GMT

Doug, that is but one relatively major to some, minor to others facet of the much bigger picture which Digitisation provides.

Those into Cloud Crowd Controls, are in no doubt** that the promise of the Cloud is Fabulous Remote Power Control and Unbelievable Universal Wealth Distribution. From ITs Spaces and Virtual AI Places, which you can imagine to be MegaMetaData Corporations, is the Future Plan for Present Streaming with IT Programmed Media Projects, Shared for Peer Asset Implementation in Innovative Binary Future Builds ........ Virtually Super Real InfraStructure Construction of Man's Next Generation and Quantum Leap Evolution .......Revolutionary Alien Nation.

Where IT Leads, does Media Follow with its Reads and Takes on the Crack Core Code Production/Source Lode/Kernel Supply.

** And in no doubt because they would be ensuring the facility with its guaranteed Intellectual Property delivery ...... with Immaculate Drive Trains and Networks InterNetworking Joined Applications

*Alienating Phorms

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Grenade

MS hasn't twigged to cloud opportunities

A significant characteristic of cloud computing is a standardised operating environment. To a vendor, standardisation is an opportunity for lock-in.

If MS understood the opportunity for them to ensure that the "standards" were in fact just product choices, they could corner the market.

MS obviously doesn't - but, hey, what's new. They didn't understand the internet.

On the flip side, from a consumer's perspective, standardisation and lock-in can mean stagnation with respect to innovation. Changing from the standard gets more and more difficult over time. That's why there are so many legacy systems lurking in IT Departments.

A handgrenade because the world hasn't woken up to the downsides of cloud computing.

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I concur

There are lots of thorny issues with 'cloud' at the moment which need to be resolved...

> Terms and conditions are generally in huge favour of the provider, and aren't generally negotiable

> Who owns the data

> How is the data secured

> Who REALLY owns the data....

> Can your data be looked at by Governments (i.e. where is it held)

> What happens if it all goes titsup? Can you get your data back?

> What happens if you miss a payment (say you are in dispute)? Some Ts & Cs I've seen say that they terminate your service immediately and you may lose your data

> Can your organisation survive spade fade / last mile type outages because they will equal loss of service

> Is it really cheaper. Make sure you know all the costs on an apples for apples basis

There's a lot to think about, and I don't see that the answers are all there yet.

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soundbite-age

"Muglia said there are now 40 million customers for hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Live Meeting"

I wonder what percentage of that 40 million is using only using Exchange? Pretty high is my guess. Sharepoint and Live Meeting are only mentioned here in case people have forgotten they exist.

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FAIL

On-premise? Huh?!?

A premise is an assumption. On-premise therefore implies on assumption.

This makes the author (and others, if the quotations are accurate) a). stupid for not knowing the difference between premise and premises, or b). a conforming hipster for knowing the difference and still using it.

Either way it makes it difficult to take the content as anything else than plagiarised opinion.

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Pint

Premises is somewhat wrong to begin with

Being that premises originally comes from use in legal documents which were referring to multiple entities and therefore qualifying the use of a plural term, the modern use of the term to describe single locations actually seems wrong. However, the english language is full of such quirks. In any event dismissing any opinions provided based on the lack of an "s" seems a bit odd. Perhaps you should sit back have a beer and relax.

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