Thursday, October 02, 2008

Microsoft Hints at "Windows Cloud"

At a conference in London on Wednesday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told attendees that Microsoft later this month will show off its new development environment for Internet-based applications dubbed "Windows Cloud."

Now, it was already expected that Microsoft would show its cloud-based developer platform at the Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) toward the end of the month. However, the terminology, "Windows Cloud," hadn't been used before.

Windows Cloud is a separate project from Windows 7, and is an OS targeted at those developing for cloud computing. Ballmer was pretty close-mouthed about it, saying he didn't want to ruin the announcement.

What he was clear on was that Microsoft doesn't foresee moving all of its Office Suite into the cloud, a la Google Docs. He did say the company was working on a service that would allow "light editing" (whatever that means) of Office docs at Internet kiosks and such, but he added:
"That's all I can say on that. Otherwise, we have no drum-roll announcement in a month."
Microsoft does have Office Live Workspace, but in order to edit any documents you need a copy of Office local to your PC.

ZDNet managed to pry the following statement out of Microsoft:
"As we've discussed publicly, Microsoft is investing heavily in its Software [plus] Services vision, particularly as it relates to the services platform to deliver a set of solutions that address our customer's needs. In addition to our current, widely adopted service-based technologies, such as Microsoft Online Services and Office Live Workspaces, we are working with many of our customers, partners and our broad developer community to understand their needs for extensible, scalable services platforms. We have publicly discussed a road map of commitments for our services strategy, most notably from Ray Ozzie at MIX 08 and the Financial Analyst Meeting. We are excited to talk more about our progress and opportunities for customers and partners at the Professional Developers Conference in a few weeks, but we don't have any further details to share at this time."
More to come as PDC approaches. For now, Windows Cloud details are a bit foggy (pun intended).



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