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Monday, September 03, 2007

Cloud Computing & The Potential Game Changer

John Markoff reports that Microsoft is prepared to release it's software "suite" this week:
It plans to turn that strategy upside down, making available free software that connects its Windows operating system to software services delivered on the Internet, a practice increasingly referred to as “cloud” computing. The initiative is part of an effort to connect Windows more seamlessly to a growing array of Internet services. He says that this is an effort to connect the Windows OS with software services delivered via the cloud - and this is similar to Microsoft embedding Internet Explorer to Windows , a move that invited anti-trust allegations.
Available indications suggest that the e software release will offer PC users the option of downloading a set of the services with a single Unified Installer program, or as separate components. The individual services are Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger 8.5 and Windows Live OneCare Family Safety, a computer security program. Not much details are provided beyond what’s actually in the download, but to me it looks to be a direct, and an albeit belated response to Google’s challenges. Recently, Google launched an unified cloud storage for Gmail & Picasa. It is speculated that Microsoft may come with a direct competitor to this but probably we may have to wait for some time for this to be unveiled. This is no doubt an interesting development in the desktop market, in my view the larger opportunity may lie in what John Markoff earlier pointed out, "an obvious market opportunity" in the portable computing market: a lightweight, thin-client, ultralight laptop that draws its data and applications off the Internet. Microsoft would get worried the day when someone comes with a scalable business to support, an economical, simple to use , lightweight portable with a browser, a wi-fi card and with some good amount of flash memory. Productivuty suites running this way may eventually turn out to be the army that may eclipse Microsoft, if not run over it.

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