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(Caveat: these are, again, raw notes.)

This PDC will be focused on the Microsoft end-to-end strategy regarding services, and the transformation of their business.

Three things that always kept Ray Ozzie betting on Microsoft:

  1. Microsoft builds their own key apps for the platform
  2. Sheer scope means that key platforms are likely to reach critical mass
  3. Microsoft understands that, to be successful, their partners must be successful.

The transformation to the cloud is being energized by cheap computing, high-bandwidth ubiquitous connectivity and device innovation.

So what’s the big deal about the cloud? Isn’t it just overblown virtualization?

Most of our enterprise architectures have been designed around inwardly-facing applications, with a small number of internal users, with the infrastructure managed by a highly-qualified IT staff.

The scope is changing.

IT is being externalized. We need to be providing external-facing applications. Our customers have expectations around web sites. But those expectations are changing, through blogs, social networking, and reputation factors. Our web presence is becoming the front desk, the first point of contact, and is critical to the success of the business.

Operations and application development are becoming more intertwined.

A companies web-facing presences tend to be scaled for the peak traffic, and distributed across multiple data centers. Companies end up with a heavy investment in floor space, power, rack space, air conditioning, and expertise in decoupling systems, infrastructure, political issues, and tax issues.

So does the cloud solve any of these problems?

Not really… but if defers these problems. Major international companies, such as Microsoft, already understand these problems and have the expertise to solve them. Microsoft, for example, has MSDN, Hotmail, Windows Update, Office Online, and many more. Each of these had grown organically.  A couple of years ago, Microsoft began to examine their infrastructure. Despite an incredible amount of expertise and infrastructure, it wasn’t packaged in a way that developers could leverage.

But really, this infrastructure can be treated as an additional tier, sitting above the experience tier (UI, size of the desktop) and the enterprise tier (size of the enterprise). Referred to as the “web tier,” this tier is the size of the web. The web tier must be scalable to nearly infinite capacity.

Some sound bites from Ray Ozzie:

  • “Windows Azure is a new Windows offering at the web tier of computing… which you might think of as Windows in the cloud.”
  • “First, we felt it was critical for Windows developer to utilize existing skills…”
  • “a fundamentally open environment for your innovation”
  • “even with that familiarity… we need to help developers recognize that this cloud design point is fundamentally new, and there are ways in which Windows Azure must be fundamentally different”
  • “setting the stage for the next 50 years of systems”
Posted on Monday, October 27, 2008 3:04 PM PDC 2008 , VB | Back to top

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