Microsoft have been rounding off their Worldwide Partner Conference in the US with a review of where Microsoft will be focussing their business software on going forwards – and it’s all looking up (at the Cloud).
It seems the Redmond corporation has taken the buzzword to encompass just about all of the work it will be doing moving forwards.
Of course Microsoft’s consumer exploits in “the cloud” are well documented. Office365, essentially an online edition of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, have been released out of beta. They recently signed up to purchase Skype. Hotmail and MSN are still trundling along, with Bing gaining market share at a headline amount they use themselves of “142%” – although how that translates to actual growth is misled by their choice of percentage units.
In terms of the business cloud details, though, Microsoft seems to have split the great cloud into three areas. The “public cloud” is the “cloud” as you might recognise it, featuring Office365, Azure and various other hosted business applications. They have also come up with the term “private cloud”, which you will probably recognise as a traditional approach in large corporates and businesses whereby they host their own servers running Microsoft software – things like Lync, SQL, SharePoint and Exchange servers, and Dynamics all running on Windows Server. The final – and easily the most intriguing – concept of the three is the “hybrid cloud”: a business-oriented mashup of the existing private cloud (read: hosted) architecture with the up-and-coming public cloud development. This is particularly interesting as it helps get around the annoying need for high-security businesses to keep their data on-site and secure, which tends to get in the way of moving them to cloud-based solutions.