Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Microsoft enters the ‘cloud’ war with Windows 7 & Azure

I almost didn’t want to write anything about the launch of Microsoft’s newest upcoming platforms: Windows 7 Alpha release & Windows Azure, because let’s face it; it’s a boring news. Besides, we have pretty much have a picture of what those two are going to be from Steve Ballmer’s big talks.

But as boring as the news could be, there are still some interesting ones to dig in. Especially what Microsoft is not talked about, when the software giant announced the new platforms at its PDC 2008 conference on Monday.

For you who aren’t following the announcement news, here’s a quick recap of what Windows Azure is: It is basically a platform to host Microsoft’s existing services & products (Live, .NET, SQL Server, Exchange, Office, etc.), and push them all into the ‘cloud’. Where ‘cloud’ means the internet. You can read the whole mumbo-jumbo info regarding Azure at this link, and as for Windows 7 you can read my previous post.

We all know Microsoft hates competition, and determined to dominate every area it can grasps upon. And we also know that Google is currently the king and ruler of the ‘cloud’, with its web-based services such as Gmail, Docs, Talk, Maps, etc. Not to mention Google is unchallenged in the search market, Google’s search engine is simply bested out Microsoft’s lame Live Search engine.

So you can visualize yourself how ambitious is Steve Ballmer, when he learned about those facts. "I think it is very ambitious, extremely ambitious," said Gartner analyst David Smith. He noted that Microsoft is trying to span a broad range of audiences, from enterprise to consumer, and a broad range of devices.

While according to Jonathan Yarmis, vice president for disruptive technologies at AMR Research, Windows Azure is nothing less than a make-or-break move for Microsoft. "I think they've said we have no choice but to succeed at this. To leave it to Google or Amazon or others to define the pace and characteristics of the platform would be very bad for Microsoft's long-term and even near-term prospects," he said. Microsoft's thinking would have to be: "We have to do this or we cease to be interesting as a company."

Then how about Windows 7? Where does it fit in to the Microsoft’s grandeur scheme? Preston Gralla from Computerworld calls Windows 7 as a Trojan horse in Microsoft's war against Google. The following question takes place after knowing that; “What new features can Microsoft possibly introduce that will help it overtake Google in search and retain its domination of productivity software such as Office?"

Preston nicely pointed out: Microsoft's secret weapon in Windows 7 is not what features the operating system has, but instead what features it doesn't have. Microsoft is stripping Windows 7 of some of Windows' best built-in applications, and it's making them available only as downloads on its Windows Live site.

So users will have to visit the Microsoft Windows Live site, where the softwares (like Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, etc.) can be downloaded for free. Microsoft claims that it is stripping the applications out of Windows 7 because it makes for a "cleaner" operating system.

Great, do you know what that really means? It means we’ll be buying the same old Windows Vista but with a more expensive price tag, and minus the useful features! Steve Ballmer once said it himself; the next generation of Windows is almost like Vista, but with less of the bulks…

Strange, somehow I don’t feel surprised at all. In fact, it’s like there’s some kinda warm fuzzy feeling blanket me; knowing that Microsoft is doing what it usually does best and what we all are familiar with: repackaged old products and sell them as new. ~LOL~

Sources are from:

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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