Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is Microsoft going to take over the Cloud?

I'm not so sure. However, I was reading Steve Ballmer's executive e-mail today about Microsoft's take on the emerging world of Cloud computing. I have to say I was really surprised. Over the last few years I had moved away from thinking about Microsoft and Cloud computing in the same breath. It struck me how much thought leadership and innovative development Google has actually brought out since it started. They really have quite a lead.

The only Microsoft products I use regularly these days are Office and Windows XP. I use Google for nearly everything else. I'm resisting the move to Vista and I don't feel the Open office environments are as good as the original Microsoft version. Plus, it's a whole lot easier to share docs if you're living in an e-mail world. I know, I know, there are loads of other ways of sharing and collaborating on documents more efficiently than e-mailing them around the place but it is still kind of a popular approach you have to agree. Maybe one day I'll move away from MS Office - the new Office 2007 document formats nearly did it for me. Anyway, I'm going off topic...

I was setting up a new domain the other day and after registering I couldn't think of anything better than to move to Google Apps for e-mail, cal etc. I didn't even consider Microsoft.

This latest mail from Steve B has left me intrigued and I'm going to start studying what the guys in Seattle have in the pipeline. Will they be able to turn the ship around like they did when they embraced the Internet all those years ago? Remember his memo, The Internet Tidal Wave [pdf]?

Check out their Software plus Services vision if you haven't already read about it.

I know they aren't the force on the web like they are on the desktop but I wouldn't count them out. They have one quality which Google and co will have to bear in mind. Relentlessness.