Where do Microsoft stand on Cloud Computing??

Everyone has been watching the “cloud” services space and more specifically what the Microsoft response will be to Google online apps and the Amazon EC2 services infrastructure – and the silence has been deafening – until now. At the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference they have finally announced their play in the form of their Microsoft Azure – which is their cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft data centres. There is no doubt that should this service (currently in BETA) could prove to simplify capacity planning and infrastructure management to allow the rest of us to focus on designing apps that meet the demands of our chosen target markets.

The competition that now exists between Google, Amazon and Microsoft should also prove beneficial to those of us intent on consuming these services. I guess it remains to be seen just how successful this new model of cloud computing is going to be, there is no doubt that as bandwidth becomes a ubiquitous commodity on a world wide scale that we will all ultimately migrate off desktop computing to cloud computing, but how are these big guys going to integrate the new models into their long standing core business structures is going to be interesting to watch, in other words, how well are they going to manage this funademtal shift in their business model? How good are these guys in this space? What happens if this new model proves to be a loss leader for them? What happens if these new systems create a burn rate that starts to get uncomfortable? Do they trash the option and shut down the businesses that have migrated to the new service? Do they pass businesses on to the competition? I find this rapid evolution in the industry fascinating and look forward to seeing where and when it ultimately all matures…..