Last week’s comments from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on the marketing buzz around cloud computing struck a chord with some, and reminded me of some of the attention drawn to Dell’s early adoption of the concept. While many in the industry are cloud washing nearly anything related to computing that involves the Internet, there remains a solid core of substance to the idea. And in many cases it's already here.
Case-in-point, Steve Ballmer has been giving more detail about Microsoft’s cloud computing plans. Last week the topic came up during his on-stage Q&A at the Churchill Club Annual Dinner. On Wednesday, Ballmer was in London for a developer conference and gave more details, saying Microsoft will launch an operating system for the cloud, called Windows Cloud for now, at its Professionals Developer Conference later this month.
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft is planning a cloud computing platform, rumors and speculation surrounding the “Red Dog” project have been rampant for months. What’s interesting is the idea of a cloud OS, and the impact that will have on the space. According to Microsoft, developers will be able to write applications that take advantage of cloud operating system services, similar to desktop and server operating systems. Programs would be spread out across hundreds or even thousands of servers running in a cloud-based data center. That’s potentially good news for providers of cloud optimized systems and services.