By Emmanuel Elebeke
As cloud computing continue to gain dominance in the IT lexicon, Microsoft said it has stolen a march on its competitors as its main proponent, making accessibility of applications through the internet rather than desktop computers and servers become increasingly closer.
According to this week’s London School of Economics, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer stated that Microsoft is better positioned to benefit from the switch to cloud computing than any of its competitors.
He noted that Microsoft had both feet in the public and private cloud markets, whereas competitors such as Amazon and Google were essentially public cloud competitors, while Oracle and VMware offered only private clouds.
Contrary to the widely held industry belief and prediction that all the system intelligence would shift to the server, Ballmer said “ we are rather seeing massive shift to intelligent devices at the user end with consumers always implicitly moving to the cloud . With the server ‘out there somewhere’, rather than somewhere down the hall or down in the basement, issues around security, data availability and privacy remain.
“We have to weigh out who owns and controls data. That’s a fundamental responsibility for us all,” said Ballmer.
He referred to the imminent launch of the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, a new Wii-like version of Xbox called Kinect, and internet TV as examples of the different ways people connected to the cloud and the critical next stage was for the cloud to become smarter at understanding who was on the network, how they accessed it, and how best to deliver what they wanted by stratifying relatively obscure and complex information converting it into knowledge that will be useful to users.