Thursday, September 11, 2008

Microsoft's COO on Cloud Computing

Q: Most of the talk at the virtualization launch was about data centers, but Microsoft has talked a lot in the recent past about cloud computing and mixed software-as-a-service models. Where do you see Microsoft's business model progressing with those things in mind?

Turner: We see sort of a hybrid model developing. If you take what you call cloud computing and we call software plus services, you have three different models:

For certain big companies, we believe they're going to want to manage most of their own IT, for governance reasons, for security reasons, for competitive reasons. So that's our traditional business model and we're going to continue to offer that.

Then there are other functions where, quite honestly, we have partners in the enterprise, Accenture or EDS or others, that have more expertise with certain line-of-business applications or certain operational elements. And we're going to enable our technologies so they can be partner-hosted by those partners.

Then there's the third model where we have lots of big customers coming to us right now saying 'for this type of user, for these applications, whether it's Exchange or Outlook or Sharepoint, we want Microsoft to host it.'

If you look at what Salesforce is doing right now, or Google's application suite, their model is you let us host it or there's no software as a service.

Our model is build around thinking that customers are going to want us to host two our of those three or three out of those three areas and we want to be sure we enable that.

As people come to us about managing the desktop or Exchange, that will free up time, money and resources for the IT department to put more IQ, more deliberate, intentional IQ on the ability to differentiate in their business model.


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