"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

MSFT and the Clouds

Bob Warfield writes about Microsoft and their "rift with the web"...

While I am again a whole-hearted advocate, giving your software over to a hosted environment and all of its attendant API’s (RESTful or not) is a big step towards lock-in, no matter how you look at it. This is again an area where Microsoft’s old school monopolist behavior won’t serve it well. There will be fear, perhaps unreasonable, that Microsoft will take unfair advantage if handed the keys to your kingdom by hosting on their cloud infrastructure. The problem is that they’ve failed to conduct themselves as the Swiss do in matters of banking. They are voracious competitors and seemingly always will be. It isn’t enough for them to win, others must lose.
Initial reaction: avoiding, or at least reducing the amount of, lock-in with any service provider will be important. My additional reaction to a MSFT service would be, yeah, especially with MSFT. But that's probably largely irrational. If the service is something like the ones we've seen so far, with comparable pricing, who cares if it is MSFT as the provider?

This is just an opportunity to bring a couple of related thoughts that have been bouncing around my head lately...

One is that the pricing of Amazon's services, and their payment services, really usurp what I think has been a long-held dream at MSFT to institute some kind of micro-transactional payment mechanism. Apparently now they have a model to emulate, so we should start seeing these kinds of services from Microsoft.

But wait, isn't one of their recent services a sort of "Biztalk in the Clouds"? Maybe they will completely rift with the web. Astoria is also referred to as "ADO.Net Data Services" but they say it has a Rest api and can be used from AJAX front ends. I assume this means it can be used by any HTTP client, but the documentation is Word and I dislike having to download that just to find this out.

But all this leads to another question: can anyone *other* than MSFT afford to write a cloud service using MSFT products? I assume Amazon and others use primarily open source tools and products, and when they do not then they are still Unix-based.

MSFT obviously has no licensing issues around building a large cloud based on windows and dotnet. Would anyone else choose to do so?

1 comment:

stefan said...

As someone once wrote, "if you're not using Linux and Open Source tools, you'd better be able to explain what you know that Google and Amazon don't" :-)

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.