Microsoft announces cloud offering, Dell will partner

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Just a quickie since there aren’t enough details for this to be really interesting or clearly relevant yet. 

Yesterday at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles Microsoft unveiled its cloud computing solution, called “Windows Azure.” This puts it in the space with Amazon, Google (AppEngine), Rackspace, and others. From coverage of the event at BBC News

Microsoft logoMicrosoft is taking a different approach from some of its rivals, insisting that its customers still want to be able to choose to have their software offline, on their own computers, as well as online in the web cloud.

“We believe deeply in on-premises software and we believe deeply in this new world of software in the cloud,” said Ray Ozzie.

Dell logoWe also found out yesterday that Dell is helping with the buildout. Reactions from the geek on the street are mixed, and range from Microsoft is headed in the wrong direction

Google and Microsoft, on the other hand, get too focused on using their cloud offerings to tie developers to their own tech stack. I agree that someone else could come in and create a cloud computing solution that beats Amazon by being even more open and easier — I just don’t see either Google or Microsoft being that company.

To enthusiastic

All I can say is — wow.  The Microsoft transition from cloud-absent to cloud-giant has begun.  There have been hints and leaks and guesses for quite some time now, but the announcements today have begun tying all the pieces together and clarifying the overall strategy.  The best news — it’s clear that Azure is aimed squarely at .NET developers, and that the services provided are amazingly rich. There’s lots of work to do in explaining this multi-faceted new platform to the market, but Microsoft is off to a great start.