It would appear from what a few people are reporting on their blogs that Microsoft is going public with their first version of their implementation of the Windows Cloud OS. While that probably won’t be the actual name upon delivery the fact is that Steve Ballmer says it’s going to happen. This of course has – as usual – brought out the Microsoft naysayers hot on the trail of some new stuff to slap Microsoft around with.
Much of the current discussion right now is stemming out of a post by The Register where they quote Steve Ballmer from a speech he gave in London. It was there that he talked briefly about how they would be introducing Windows Cloud; its temporary name, at this year’sÂ Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in about four weeks. The thing is as Joe Wilcox pointed out, this information was announced on an even earlier date (Sept. 8th) by Bob Muglia.
This fact though has largely been ignored by all the bloggers who have rushed to progosticate on how the world will end when Ballmer does make the announcement at the PDC. It hasn’t stopped any of them either from riffing on about how given Microsoft’s penchant for announcing stuff only to let it flounder the chances of anything substantive actually being presented is pretty slim. Such was the attitude of Stan Schroeder at Mashable this morning when he said
Microsoft is big and slow, they announce stuff like this months before it’s ready; so my guesstimate is that Ballmer’s four weeks will turn into months really soon.
Then we have Svetlana Gladkova at Profy.com that the whole exercise will prove whether Microsoft can actually do something right when it comes to the web or just another of its many failures
But anyway it will be interesting what Microsoft has to offer and how it will affect the internet industry – or if it will be yet another failure for the software giant online.
I realize that Microsoft has made more than a few blunders when it comes to the Internet, but there’s a few things that people are missing in their rush to jab Microsoft with some sharp sticks. The first thing not being considered by many of them is that Microsoft is no longer Bill Gates; and I would wager that for most of the last year it hasn’t been.
People are forgetting that Ray Ozzie is the driving force behind the company’s move into the Internet world ever since he was hired in 2005. This whole exercise is exactly why he was hired in the first place; and for the better part of the last three years he has been working on this with all the resources available to a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Folks seem to think that things like Windows Cloud is just something that Microsoft has thrown together. Well you can bet that this would be the wrong thing to be thinking, especially when you tie in the fact that the Windows platform; since the release of Vista, has been headed up by Steven Sinofsky. It is because of him that any word of what is going into this Windows Cloud, the Live platform and the Windows platform hasn’t made it out of a very tightly controlled circle of product teams.
We have only seen dribs and drabs of the possible pieces that will make up this Windows Cloud OS; and while people seem to be under the assumptions that it is going to be browser based it is obvious that they haven’t been paying attention to Live Mesh at all.
While Google is principally working from the browser as the interface to their interpretation of cloud computing they have recognized that it can’t all be online and this is why they came out with Google Gears. What they are doing is commonly referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS) which is very different from Microsoft’s approach. With them it is more of Software plus Services (S+S) which mean the seamless integration of desktop applications and their web based counterparts. In essence it won’t make any difference if you are using the web side or the desktop side when it comes to the applications or data.
It is this difference that some tech pundits are missing when they try and earn brownie points by putting down Microsoft’s efforts. This is also why we get questions like the one from Philipp Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped when he asked
Why do they announce instead of deliver?
The answer to this one is as old as Microsoft itself and one of the earliest lessons the company ever learned. It’s all about the software. Without software that can run using the S+S philosophy then yes their move onto the web and cloud computing will be a failure just as Svetlana suggests. Anyone who seriously follows Microsoft should understand this very basic part about the company as it is something that they have done since their earliest days delivering operating systems. Get the developers involved as soon as is possible – get the software that can run in the new environment out there as soon as possible after shipping the OS. Windows Cloud is no different only more important.
This is why things like Windows Cloud are announced at the PDC conferences because that is where the developers are. This is where they can get the new tools and new operating systems into the hands of the leading software developers for Windows. It doesn’t matter what gets announced at this next PDC regarding Windows cloud because you can rest assured unless you are a developer there won’t be anything to really play with.
That won’t happen until after the release of the next version of Visual Studio and .NET 4 Framework. It will only be then that developer of all levels will be able to do any serious work developing stuff for this new OS. Some point after though we will probably start to see the beginnings of the OS making it’s way into our hands.
As much as it might give the know it all tech pundits plenty of fodder with which to write more negative posts about Microsoft this upcoming PDC announcement isn’t for us. It is for the developers to let them know that some big changes are coming and it is them that I will be listening to afterwords not the tech blogosphere.