Monday, October 6, 2008

Microsoft Confirms 'Windows Cloud' OS

At its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) event later this month, Microsoft will publicly unveil its 'Windows Cloud' Internet-based operating system, the company confirmed. I've been told several times by Microsoft representatives in the recent past that this system would in fact be the focus of PDC this year.

"We need a new operating system designed for the cloud and we will introduce one in about four weeks," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said yesterday in London. "We'll even have a name to give you by then. But let's just call it for the purposes of today 'Windows Cloud.' Just like Windows Server looked a lot like Windows but with new properties, new characteristics and new features, so will Windows Cloud look a lot like Windows Server.'"

This platform has been in the works for a long time, and the most obvious public face of Microsoft cloud work right now is the Live Mesh project that was championed by Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie. A session description for the PDC describes a "Microsoft cloud platform" that provides "scalability and availability" and "service isolation and protection."

In an official statement, Microsoft confirmed the coming platform. "Microsoft is investing heavily in its Software + Services vision, particularly as it relates to the services platform to deliver a set of solutions that address our customer's needs," an official statement reads. "We are working with many of our customers, partners and our broad developer community to understand their needs for extensible, scalable services platforms."

While Microsoft has been slowly and methodically embracing cloud computing for a few years now, this explicit admission that it is working on a Windows OS that runs in the Internet cloud should put an end to any naysaying. "We've gotta build a service that is Windows in the cloud," Ballmer said.

Yes you do, Steve. Yes, you do.

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