October 02, 2008 |
Well, not exactly Windows as we know it now, it is something dubbed “Windows Cloud” (will most certainly have a different name) – a new operating system to be officially announced by Microsoft in the end of October that is intended to serve as a platform for various web applications. Microsoft seemingly takes the approach it already is familiar with by offering an OS other developers should write applications for instead of writing applications of its own and competing with other developers.
The new operating system is scheduled to be unveiled at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in a month from now with no extra details available – probably not to spoil the surprise. Judging from what Ballmer told reporters, there will also be some components of Microsoft software that will operate online but they will hardly be fully functional. In contrast to SaaS (software as a service) Microsoft introduces a concept of “software plus services” where web-based components supplement functionality of the main desktop software.
Microsoft has been known to be struggling to build a stronger presence online but without any huge successes – Microsoft’s attempts to become a big internet player are often clumsy and heavily criticized by the blogosphere. But Microsoft still seems to be determined to compete with Google. For now the rumors of Microsoft launching full-functional online versions of the applications from its office suite will probably remain rumors for some time – thus preventing Microsoft from competing with Google online office applications. But it looks like Microsoft has found a new approach by introducing a web operating system that users will probably find appealing because a familiar desktop-like interface and numerous web versions of the applications they already use on their desktops – and chances are Microsoft will closely work with developers to make sure such applications are numerous.
The irony of the announcement is that earlier this week we discussed cloud computing from quite a negative point of view with open source guru Richard Stallman claiming that relying on cloud computing is more than stupidity while Oracle’s Larry Ellisom could not describe cloud computing better than “complete gibberish”.
Obviously the environment does not seem to be quite appropriate to announce such a large-scale cloud computing project – but Microsoft is known to implement any ideas the company may have without evaluating how timely they are. But anyway it will be interesting what Microsoft has to offer and how it will affect the internet industry – or if it will be yet another failure for the software giant online.