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Ballmer: Microsoft 'Betting Company' On The Cloud

Gordon Kelly


Ballmer: Microsoft 'Betting Company' On The Cloud

It may be late to the game, but it seems Microsoft is ready to risk everything to make its mark in the Cloud...

Speaking at the University of Washington, chair throwing CEO Steve Ballmer admitted "we're all in" and said 70 per cent of Microsoft employees are involved in Cloud-related projects and that number will increase to a frightening 90 per cent within the next 12 months.

Asked if this was something of a risk Ballmer admitted it is "betting our company" since there was "so much unrealised potential". He did acknowledge Microsoft was late into the space but defended its attempts to play catch-up saying "All companies have their mix of proactive and reactive muscle; I’m keen on increasing hit rate in terms of early and often."

While the extent of Microsoft's commitment to the Cloud is surprising, Ballmer is probably right. Being able to securely store data remotely, access it anywhere and let servers do the majority of heavy lifting makes a great deal of sense long term. And if Microsoft is prepared to bet its company on ironing out the current flaws then everyone should benefit from what it discovers.

In related news Ballmer also used the talk to admit changes are afoot for the Xbox: "You get exactly the Xboxes that we build for you. We may have more form factors in the future that are designed for various price points and options," he added.

A smaller, lighter and quieter model to compete with the PS3 Slim would seem the first point of call. Make it happen Steve.


via Microsoft News Center


March 8, 2010, 5:41 am

90% of employees to be working on Cloud-related projects? "Frightening" was a particularly astute choice of word there Gordon. I can see the potential of Cloud computing, but the key word there is "potential", and I feel there is a hurry to dive in without first checking the water for rocks or sharks.

Google, Microsoft etc. are obviously becoming engaged in a "Cloud race" to colonise this new area, and as a result my fear is that the rest of us will not be making the jump to Cloud computing but instead will be pushed, possibly before we consumers or indeed our communications infrastructures are ready - given the standard of provision of broadband internet (mobile and fixed) in the UK (a subject well covered on this site), I personally am in no hurry to throw away native applications.


March 8, 2010, 6:25 am

One can only hope for a busy news day tomorrow so Ballmer's mug makes it onto page 2 as quickly as possible



March 8, 2010, 2:10 pm

I can't help hoping that all this cloud development is done using open standards - so that you're not limited to a particular company's tools. E.g. - being able to access cloud stored documents etc. via my non Windows smartphone or (yuck, lol) an iPad.


March 8, 2010, 2:58 pm

"Being able to securely store data remotely, access it anywhere and let servers do the majority of heavy lifting makes a great deal of sense long term."

Yeah, for the person holding your data: they potentially have you over a barrel. "The Cloud" seems like a hip-sounding term to pull the wool over people's eyes. Someone else's server is all it means. If, as now, you have all your programs and data stored on your own self-contained PC you can make it as secure as you want, have as many backups as you want, protect it totally, and access it remotely -- if and when you choose. Alternatively... trust all that to someone you don't know, and hope the connection is never non-available and they don't compromise your data, lose it, withdraw the service, go bust, hike the charges, or have any down time etc etc. That's makes sense?


March 8, 2010, 3:06 pm

@smc8788: unlikely, I suspect Gordon <3 Steve.


March 8, 2010, 4:37 pm

@BobaFett - http://i48.tinypic.com/1zlu...



March 8, 2010, 6:13 pm

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs?


March 8, 2010, 6:26 pm

Big bet me thinks... but then you gotta be brave in business.

Surely, the success of 'the cloud' depends on the ubiquity and security of global Internet access - from an M$ perspective to make it work in a global market. Something I fear is way off yet. At least while we Limey's crawl our way to "Digital Britain" at 2mbps... in places! And think of the data load ISP's will gripe at. They had enough heart tacks (sic) over iPlayer. LOL

Naturally, supplying via the cloud neatly ties you to a costing structure - A bit like say selling (bear with me here) dishwasher tablets rather than self serve powder - its all about controlling portions and hence profit.


March 8, 2010, 7:07 pm


So where do you keep your money under your mattress or in a bank?! Truth is we trust banks to hold our money so why not trust another company to hold our data. Not the best defence given the current economic crisis I know, but we still do it. To me money and data are equally important.


March 8, 2010, 7:14 pm

@smc8788: that pretty much sums up the news here these days! Can you do a spurned lover one for Gordon and the other Steve?


March 8, 2010, 7:41 pm

@BobaFett eh? I'm about the most (rational) anti-Apple person you'll find *he says typing from a Thinkpad, using Windows 7* Try to control your Apple/Microsoft instinctive convulsions. There's a good chap.

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