It’s a month and more since Ray Ozzie announced it. But there seems to be remarkably little independent comment in the blogsphere about Windows Azure, Microsoft’s push into the world of cloud computing. The exception is TechCrunch (links below) and a link by lifehacker to a C|net News report. All credit to them: C|net haven’t just reproduced the Microsoft press release, but given us an account of Ray Ozzie’s announcement presentation at the Professional Developers’ Conference.
I’d better be careful what I mean by “independent” comment. The vast majority of the top hits in a Google blog search go back to blogs specifically concerned with Microsoft Windows or Vista. That’s not suggesting that Microsoft drives their content, or to decry the quality of their comments either. But it means that the wider world has perhaps missed the point. Remember when Microsoft finally “got it” about the Internet? It was playing catch-up, but it did so within the space of about six months.
Cloud computing already has its giants. Amazon led the high-profile way (with AWS, S3, EC2 and so on) but there are other Silicon Valley companies such as 3Tera, who I visited in Silicon Valley a couple of years ago. Major hardware vendors are making their announcements too (TechCrunch again, tracking the HP/Intel/Yahoo! announcement in July). But remember that Ozzie, with Lotus Notes to his name, is a veteran of the distributed services concept. And if Azure lives up to the expectation of being Windows on distributed steroids, then it is more than likely to be far more important than its coverage to date would suggest.
Watch this space!
• Microsoft Azure website
• Ozzie, Muglia, and Srivastava on Windows Azure TechCrunch, 27 Oct 2008 (there’s a video embedded in this report)
• Microsoft Unveils Windows Azure at Professional Developers Conference Microsoft PressPass, 27 Oct 2008
• Ray Ozzie on Azure, Office unchained, and Openness TechCrunch, 29 Oct 2008
• Microsoft launches Windows Azure C|net news, 27 Oct 2008
• Windows Azure unmasked ITPro, 30 Oct 2008