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Ballmer Teases Software-Plus-Services in '07 168

Posted by Zonk
from the my-year-is-complete dept.
Robert writes with a link to a CBR article hinting that Microsoft's vision of software-plus-services may begin to form this year. The idea is that an online version of Windows, plus a 'cloud' of related services and collaboration software, will allow a user to access their content from anywhere and (theoretically) be more productive. "In broad strokes, that vision is to build a set of services for servers, clients and mobile devices in the Internet cloud, with a new model of computation and user interface. Ballmer seemed to suggest the first of these services would launch, in some form, later this year. Underpinning these services would be a "cloud platform," which is the Windows Live Core architecture the company is working on. 'We are in the process today of building out a service platform in the cloud,' Ballmer said. 'We're building out a service-based infrastructure, not server by server but a new management model, a new device model, new storage, networking, computational model from the get-go.'"
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Ballmer Teases Software-Plus-Services in '07

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  • by nanosquid (1074949) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:27PM (#19841545)
    Monkey see, monkey do, monkey dance.
    • by EvilEddie (243404)
      oh stevie, tease me! tease me!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by martinlp (904606)
      "Monkey see, monkey do, monkey dance." Monkey throw chair
  • Super-sharepoint? (Score:2, Informative)

    by RManning (544016)

    We're starting to see the beginings of this concept with Sharepoint 2007. Somehow, at least at my job, this idea of easy, integrated unstructured content sharing has become a big deal. Our users don't seem to care, but the big-wigs writing the checks do. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how they pull this off.

    • Our users don't seem to care, but the big-wigs writing the checks do.

      That would be because they have more than one computer and are tired of M$'s lack of sharing tools. The lack of simple tools becomes apparent when you use a laptop or home system for work. Emailing stuff to yourself gets old fast. As little as grsync would make these people happy.

      Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how they pull this off.

      It's going to be clumsy because they won't just work with other people. They could just make

      • by Kalriath (849904)

        Our users don't seem to care, but the big-wigs writing the checks do.

        That would be because they have more than one computer and are tired of M$'s lack of sharing tools. The lack of simple tools becomes apparent when you use a laptop or home system for work. Emailing stuff to yourself gets old fast. As little as grsync would make these people happy.

        Well, there's Distributed File System, but DAMN that's hard to use. Volume Shadow Copy too, but again that pretty much needs a Masters in Computer Science to use. I can actually sort of agree with you on this point.

        Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how they pull this off.

        It's going to be clumsy because they won't just work with other people. They could just make some utilities to work with samba, but they are going to make something of their own or steal some other non free tool.

        Unlikely. More likely is they'll set up a massive farm of Virtual Servers (they bought Connectix, so they do have a nice platform for virtualisation, possibly second only to VMWare's) and use RDP thin clients to use it. Obviously, there's no way in hell a home user could ever use it, becaus

        • And meanwhile, Google Apps will continue to improve, and, as with what happened with search technology, Microsoft will be the pathetic, seldom-used second or third place. I just hope they keep the innocent furniture away from that lying, thieving, monomaniacal bastard.
    • Sharepoint is easy? I'd rather use mediawiki, thanks.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iluvcapra (782887)

        The one thing MediaWiki is missing for me (I often try to roll out wikis for projects at work) is rich text editing in the browser, at least on par with writely, as well as spreadsheet integration. The fact that you can open documents on a Sharepoint server in your fat client editor and have everything magically find its way back to the cloud thingy is quite a win. Writely and Google spreadsheets are still pretty primitive, at about the level of Office 4.

        Is there any OpenOffice-Mediwiki middleware out th

  • Mosquitos (Score:3, Funny)

    by sprior (249994) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:32PM (#19841623) Homepage
    Think cloud of mosquitos, all annoying you and trying to suck you dry...
    • by peragrin (659227) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:05PM (#19842021)
      how is this off topic? if MSFT is involved you will have to pay to access your own data, and if you miss a payment or are late with it you lose all your data. The same goes for network neutrality. it's just the ISPs who want to nickel and dime you to death.

      The Dot-Bomb of this decade is brewing and it will be these "software as services" repeating the mistakes of AOL, Compuserve, and Prodigy again. Apparently we don't learn from history, thus making us doomed to repeat it.
      • by sprior (249994)
        Wow, tough room today - usually this would have been modded +5 funny by now...
  • 2007 huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:36PM (#19841679)
    OK, I'll hold my breath, because Microsoft always ships on schedule.
    • Yeah, isn't this pretty much what the .Net brand was supposed to be about originally, something like 5-10 years ago? Not ".Net" is something else and they're calling it "cloud platform"? Color me unimpressed.
  • thin client (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:37PM (#19841681) Homepage
    Now that internet access is ubiquitous, fast, and reliable, the age of the thin client may really be upon us. Though thin clients have been touted in the past and failed, the state of the internet has never been ready to handle thin clients in the past. This has changed.

    Home users and small business simply should not have to worry about maintaining firewalls, patches, backups, revision control, document sharing services, and all the other mess that comes with typical PC use. They have only done it so far because there was no other option. Now things are changing, and I welcome it. The only people who will lose out on this are the low-level tech support types and small business IT technicians. With today's unemployment rates, this isn't a huge problem.

    Yay, progress!
    • The more we progress, the more we stay at the same place. Lookup the Cycle of Reincarnation [foldoc.org] on the jargon file, we are switching from thick clients to thin clients and back since the mainframes, and will continue switching as long as computing power, bandwidth and resource demand grow at different rates, leading to an asymmetric relation among those three factors.
    • Now that internet access is ubiquitous, fast, and reliable
      Hahahahhahaha.....you must not be an American.

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:51PM (#19841849) Journal
      These are similar to what killed the whole idea back when MSFT first touted it.

      Software isn't like Cable TV, Phone, or similar home services. After all, I don't put my personal data into any of those, and I certainly don't use them to store my own files. If Joe Sixpack misses the 'rent' on his thin client, he's screwed... hard. Even if his files were stored locally, he'd have a very hard time opening media files which can only be opened by the thin client (yes, I can see MSFT --or someone else-- doing that very easily to produce a literal lock-in).

      A thin client would certainly free up the average user from routine tasks... but what if the user prefers to use, say IrfanView [irfanview.com] for managing and viewing his/her image files, instead of whatever the vendor has provided (prolly the MS default image viewer)? I sincerely doubt that the vendor is going to let said user simply install whatever he/she wants, since it would become a logistical nightmare to support on the back end.

      There's still too much room for abuse... on all sides. It removes consumer choice from the equation entirely, unless consumers can organize en masse and simply shift to a friendlier provider. Boycotts of that size, especially with personal data and files at stake, will be infinitely harder to organize and execute. Even regular ones today are tough enough to pull off.

      Technically, I think it's damned fine. VM's for corporate users saves a ton of cash in hardware. OTOH, those corporations aren't as willing to trust their secrets and business on VM servers that they don't own. Users have very similar reasons.

      Don't get me wrong, I can see it happening on some levels... but I just don't see any mass shift towards it (what... you think Joe Sixpack wants his vendor to keep his tax records --or conversely, his pr0n collection-- and not have them within immediate and total control?)

      /P

      • Software isn't like Cable TV, Phone, or similar home services. After all, I don't put my personal data into any of those, and I certainly don't use them to store my own files.


        Really? You don't communicate sensitive personal information over the telephone?

        Most people I know were doing that before the Web existed, and before internet service was something anyone would consider a "home service".
        • Software isn't like Cable TV, Phone, or similar home services. After all, I don't put my personal data into any of those, and I certainly don't use them to store my own files.

          Really? You don't communicate sensitive personal information over the telephone?

          Perhaps I should clarify a bit: The phone conversation and/or service doesn't store the personal data spoken into the phone. Given the ephemeral nature of a phone call, and the fact that personal info given out over the course of my call isn't being stored anywhere by the phone vendor (barring wiretaps and other extreme cases), it isn't like Software at all. I also know exactly who gets that information (be it an individual or a corporation), because like the majority of the human race, I don't buy anyth

          • If I (or the phone company) shut off the phone service, I've lost nothing save the ability to place a phone call with that vendor, and they have nothing sensitive of my data aside from common billing information. If a thin client relationship ends (by me or them), the vendor has all of my data, and I've lost the ability to use any of it which hasn't been backed up locally.

            You make a good point that a "thin client provider" is different than a TV or phone service provider; the kind of relationship is more li

    • From a home-user perspective, I kinda of hate the idea of thin clients (as well as software as a service). I don't want to be limited by the speed of my internet connection (unless I have the 40GB/s one mentioned earlier). And I don't want to lose total functionality because of something beyond my control up the pipe. And if I have a version of software I'm happy with, I don't want to be "upgraded" to a less stable or more bloated version because the software company decides to do it for me.
      • Yes, I'm sure there is a very small number of people who share your opinion. I used to be one of them. My email, calendar, and web server were all hosted on my home systems. I had total control. But I realized that every time I had to reformat, move, change IPs, or whatever, I was in for a world of hurt. Especially if it came at a bad time for me socially. I moved everything over to Google Apps for My Domain, and I don't have to worry about a thing. My friends no longer get bounced emails if my power blinks
        • >>My email, calendar, and web server were all hosted on my home systems

          I think you are talking about extremes here. I have no wish to host my own email or web server at home, but I don't want somebody else to host my porn files, word processor, games, etc...
    • Re:thin client (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Shotgun (30919) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:58PM (#19841943)
      Network access within a corporation has been ubiquitous, fast, and reliable for the past 20 years and thin clients haven't gotten far. So now that Microsoft enters the fray with their swiss-cheese virus fodder, we're supposed to surrender our data to some poorly defined "cloud" network. Not only do we have the problems of maintaining a network well enough to get our data in house, but the data is surrendered to a company that has shown time after time that it is willing to cut the nuts off of a business partner for a dollar.

      No. This is nothing more that Microsoft's swan song. Vista is a bust, and their lunch is slowly being eaten by Apple and Linux. They're scrambling to find something to replace the glory products of yesteryear as they slowly slip into irrelevancy. The company still has some power left to broker, but it is slipping away at an increasing rate as people realize that there are better products to be had for less money.

      Software as a service is a valid business model. It actually works in some situations. But Microsoft's view of it is a way to rent their software, with the idea of retaining more control, the emphasis being on control/revenue retention vs supplying a service. I expect Microsoft will push this as hard as they possibly can, and make some significant wins (No one every got fired....). I also expect they will have an even larger defection rate to open source solutions. If you're going to rent solutions, you might as well rent the ones that work and the prices are lower because there's competition.

      • I don't think these sorts of services are really well-fit for large corps with their own IT departments. But home and small business users don't have IT departments, nullifying your complaint.
      • Microsoft has suggested this type of thing before and it never took off. It is not a swan song - they just see what Google is doing and are moving that direction as something of a hedge. Netscape years ago tried to push itself as a sort of thin client platform, and MS responded by talking some about software-as-service type stuff even back then.

        I think MS is setting pretty happy. There is nothing really on the horizon that threatens Office or Windows right now except if Google ever became successful as an a
        • Netscape never had the pot of money that Google has. The situations are not really all that similar at all. Google runs, for all intents and purposes, on all the important platforms. It uses MS's own browser for delivering its software. I think Microsoft is scared shitless, and trying to spin some vaporware crap to try to convince increasingly skeptical customers that they will remain the choice of the future.
          • It all depends on whether it is really something the markets wants. I personally don't like the idea of thin clients as a home user, and I think businesses will have a hard time warming to it unless they own the servers. Microsoft might be scared shitless of what Google is doing, but it doesn't mean Google is really doing anything the market will want. Microsoft said they underestimated the internet once and now they are paranoid about it happening again.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by VoltageX (845249)

        Vista is a bust, and their lunch is slowly being eaten by Apple and Linux.

        Maybe on Slashdot it is, but if you're buying a new Dell or a new HP or any of those big-brand computers, you're getting Vista. Mac & *nix? As much as I'd love to see a Linux distro on most desktops, it hasn't happened in my town yet! Same with Mac - and I sit here typing this on a Mac laptop with my desktops being Ubuntu machines...
    • Home users and small business simply should not have to worry about maintaining firewalls, patches, backups, revision control, document sharing services, and all the other mess that comes with typical PC use.


      How many home users worry about most of those now?
      • Now that everyone has a digital camera? I can tell you that backups are important to EVERYONE, though some don't realize it until the inevitable HD crash.
        • Now that everyone has a digital camera? I can tell you that backups are important to EVERYONE, though some don't realize it until the inevitable HD crash.

          Backups were only one of the concerns raised, I asked how many home users worry about most of those. Updates are largely worry-free, and most home users, I would bet, don't even know what "revision control" is, much less worry about it. Backups, I'll agree, a fair number of people do worry about, at least after the fact.

    • by sootman (158191)
      Now things are changing, and I welcome it.

      So you're saying you, for one, welcome our new software-cloud overlords? :-)
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:37PM (#19841685) Journal
    "Software as a Service" died back in 2000... why does MSFT keep insisting on bringing it back up?

    Sure, the growth of virtualization might make some aspects more palatable, but others (like, you know, "control") are simply not going to be ameliorated by repackaging.

    It's almost like MSFT has been on a re-run kick lately... Software-as-Service, Tablets (okay, "tables" now), etc...

    It would be damned interesting to see MSFT come up with a new idea that folks actually like, instead of chasing others' successes (e.g. with xbox and Zune and IE, to varying degrees of success), or trying to rehash their failed ones.

    /P

    • Calling it a day would be a new idea.
    • It would be damned interesting to see MSFT come up with a new idea that folks actually like, instead of chasing others' successes (e.g. with xbox and Zune and IE, to varying degrees of success), or trying to rehash their failed ones.

      Except, as far as I can tell, they've never done that. The core of their business model is to either copy other people's successful ideas (sometimes after buying them, sometimes without), or just take an idea that hasn't ever been successful, and use their weight to ram it down people's throats regardless.

      They have no experience in the creation-of-new-novel-stuff department. Someday, that's going to catch up with them and be their undoing, but with so much money to burn, it could take an exceptionally long time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Greyfox (87712)
      They're trying to bring it back because they think that there's a fuck-ton of money to be made renting you services and locking your data up in their proprietary formats. Essentially right now businesses can choose when (or if) they want to upgrade. A "software subscription" will cost as much or more than the current upgrade schedule and will will guarantee much more regular payments to Microsoft. Also, moving to that type of platform would make it much harder to pirate their software. That'd make it possib
      • by grcumb (781340) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:15PM (#19842941) Homepage Journal

        They're trying to bring it back because they think that there's a fuck-ton of money to be made renting you services and locking your data up in their proprietary formats.

        There's a fuck-ton[*] of business to be done through Internet-based services. But competition has a weird effect on this kind of business. It pushes prices so close to zero that it's nearly impossible to make the kind of money that Microsoft is used to.

        This is an area that better suits the piranha than the shark, if you'll forgive the metaphor. A swarm of tiny service providers willing to survive on nibbles are going to be much more effective than a lumbering giant that requires the entire beast for itself.

        More importantly, working over the Internet will require improvements in interoperability. Whether they arise through formal standards processes or through reverse engineering, you can count on significant movement in interop if the big software players start to commit to the kind of service that Ballmer is describing.

        I for one - heh - welcome our online services overlords, because I am going to eat their lunch. Bit by tiny bit. 8^)

        [*] That's 0.454 metric fuck-tonnes, for the non-Americans in the audience.

    • by Coryoth (254751)

      "Software as a Service" died back in 2000... why does MSFT keep insisting on bringing it back up?

      Software as a service is alive and well, just not in quite the form it was originally brought up as. I mean let's face it, isn't Ubuntu essentially software as a service, where you "cache the software locally", but ultimately have access to a vast library of software via a service (apt-get, which suitable graphical front-ends). It's certainly easy enough to use that way. Need a program to do X right now? Click a button and it's ready to use. Done doing X and don't need the software for a while? Click a but

      • by simong (32944)
        That's a rather unique view of the Ubuntu model. Whatever Canonical's plans are, I would strongly doubt that many people install software when they need it and then delete it when they have finished with it unless they're really strapped for space.
        It wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft's concept of 'software on demand' went any further than remote storage and a .NET version of Word delivered to the web browser, replacing the java version of Word Perfect that was around ten years ago.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      I hear they will be releasing this incredibly phone that works just like the Zune and has multimedia, internet and is easy to use!

      That's an original idea... oh wait.
    • "Software as a Service" died back in 2000... why does MSFT keep insisting on bringing it back up?

      Then tell me why Google bothered with their Google doc service. It's still far from being a replacement for local document apps, but I think it would be stupid to ignore the potential. It sounds like they are trying to make their own infrastructure for web apps & services.

      Tablets (okay, "tables" now)

      No, tablets and Surface are separate product types, filling different niches.

      It would be damned interesting
    • by ozbird (127571)
      "Software as a Service" died back in 2000... why does MSFT keep insisting on bringing it back up?

      Money, obviously.
    • "Software as a Service" died back in 2000... why does MSFT keep insisting on bringing it back up?

      Revenue, baby. Same reason they like software assurance so much. You pay first, and then you use it. Software as a Service is the logical extension of this. A perpetual amount of money flowing into the company, regardless whether people upgrade or not. Or worse (for users) upgrading at Microsoft's demands. Microsoft has been wanting this for a log, long time. (Project Megaserver). They might as well get it too

  • by Brad Eleven (165911) <brad.eleven@gmail.com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:41PM (#19841725) Homepage Journal
    I once worked for an incredibly successful consulting firm: 2 to 1500 employees in five years, $1M to $500M in revenue, true employment (not "as long as we have a customer for you"), many other examples of goodness and light. It was bought for cash by a huge telecom, who thought that we could deliver on such a vague promise as "remotely managed software services."

    In fairness, the idea was already being floated about, that we could just set up NOCs/ROCs all over the place and somehow, magically, deliver as many services as a demand existed for. The telecom just drooled over it; circa 1997, they were all watching the biscuit wheels falling off of the long-distance gravy train.

    Of course, the behemoth telecom sealed the coffin by demanding that we try to make their broken attempts at non-remote service offerings work. I left when they decreed that Windows NT would be the only OS running on any of their machines. They sold off little pieces of the original firm. Last I heard, a few ex-managers got together and bought what was left of it in order to use the brand name.

    I'm not saying that M$ can't eventually pull this off. If any existing entity could make it work, they could. I base this on their mind-numbing ability to handle huge problems that, you know, "no one could have expected." That is, if they really try to do this, it will fail, over and over again. Only M$, IMO, has the resources to survive these failures. And only M$ could command such a vast array of excellent talent and manage to turn out such mediocre products.

    It looks to me more like they're trying to imitate what they think Google is.
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:42PM (#19841739) Homepage
    Seriously, what's up with all the clouds Ballmer?

    I suppose it's an apt term. Something that seems big and impressive from a long way away but if you get up close you see it's nothing more than vapour, completely intangible.
  • by hazee (728152) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:44PM (#19841777)
    This seems to be entirely for the benefit of Microsoft - their wanting to secure a regular income, with the benefits to the customer a distant second.

    After all, why go to all the trouble of pushing Vista or its (likely even less popular) successors on an uninterested public, when you can just bill them monthly?

    What do we as customers get out of it? The ability to access our data remotely? I can largely already do that - the things I'm most likely to want access to, such as mail, are well catered for by multiple webmail operations, and it's notable that MS has managed to so badly screw up Hotmail if this is where they're aiming.

    As for other apps, I suspect that network bandwidth is going to put a stop to many of those plans.

    Not to mention the issue of trust - would *you* trust MS with all your data. Again, judging by the success of their Passport scheme, it looks like a resounding NO!

    I find it rather ironic that MS came to prominence precisely because they gave us control over our own computers, rather than being beholden to a single central controller, and now they want to be that controller.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      This seems to be entirely for the benefit of Microsoft - their wanting to secure a regular income, with the benefits to the customer a distant second.

      If Microsoft pulled an iTunes, and offered me an up-to-date version of Word and Excel for $5 a month, I'd probably be really interested, but alas, that's not anything like what they're offering.

      They're not really selling software as a service, they're selling space on SMB servers and a one-click action in Office to put your data on it. Your data is what the

    • After all, why go to all the trouble of pushing Vista or its (likely even less popular) successors on an uninterested public, when you can just bill them monthly?

      I really hate hearing the marketing on these things, too. They try to paint the whole thing as actually being cost-effective, because paying monthly charges will keep you from having to pay upgrade fees (like Microsoft's SA on volume licensing). Of course, that assumes that the sum of your monthly fees is less than buying a license outright. P

  • This is part of the cumulative Microsoft vision that started when they wanted to make every part of their OS a configurable widget. The idea is that if you abstract the system enough into an insanely complex object model, you can give users control of it, and most programming tasks becoming a question of plugging together the right objects with the right filters and actors. The difference is that now they've brought .net-style wisdom into the picture, and are going to make it a net-wide, OS-less (but Vista-

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:56PM (#19841919) Homepage
    ...they could call this bold new idea ".NET"
  • ...I'm sorry Steve. Did you say something?
    I thought I heard, "blah, blah, blah, Internet, blah, blah, cloud , blah, blah, blah...."

    /redundant

  • by noewun (591275) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:57PM (#19841937) Journal
    Microsoft is hard at work on the DBSOD, the Distributed Blue Screen of Death. Now you can freeze any machine, anywhere in the world!
  • by blueZ3 (744446) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @03:57PM (#19841939) Homepage
    you're bound to imagine services "in the cloud"
  • by zdzichu (100333) <zdzichu AT irc DOT pl> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:18PM (#19842179) Homepage Journal
    Just scroll bit down to GNOME Online Desktop [ometer.com]. Open Source desktop guys are talking about this idea for a long time. They want to build interface with contacts list as central place. People (online presences) are to become major pivot point. Telepathy, Galago, Decibel, KIMProxy gave application access to uniform online connectivity and presence information.
    Additionally, projects like Stateless Linux break ties between user's documents and his computer. User's desktop moves with him when changing laptops etc.
    They even built ,,aggregator for popular online sites and social notworking websites'' -- check Mugshot [mugshot.org].
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:33PM (#19842397) Homepage Journal
    From the Microsoft "me too" department ... Ballmer's answer to Google Apps. Evidently they are hedging their bets against the possibility of Google Apps taking hold and eating away at MS Office market share. Orgs that want to control their own destiny aren't going to go for either one. They're going to use software-plus-services technologies, but they'll run them from their own data centers.
  • by alucinor (849600) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:40PM (#19842489) Journal
    How about instead of consumers surrendering all their data to centrally controlled third parties, those third parties send us their code to run locally on our data. Oh wait, I just described an open source distro repository, lol.
  • This time for sure! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GnarlyDoug (1109205)
    Once again MS announces it is going to get into the business of networked services. Good luck with that. First the announce that they will release computers in India. That sounds like they are chasing Apple and aiming to become their own OEM like Apple is. Except that unlike Apple they don't have someone like Jobs to manage the intricate details needed for Apple's famed integration and user experience to work. Now they want to get into being an ASP. Again. Which sounds like they want to be like Googl
  • by opencity (582224) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:48PM (#19842609) Homepage
    Isn't a cloud water vapor?
    So he's saying they're working on vapor?
    Now that's honesty.
  • by macraig (621737) <mark...a...craig@@@gmail...com> on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:51PM (#19842665)
    There's one, and only one, reason why Microsoft is hyping this: it's the next big push to acclimate the world to software as a subscription service. They're salivating over the prospect of being able to collect from you every month, just like Comcast does, and to the same degree of excess and (even more) obscene profit. They want to reeducate you to think of software as "content".

    If you think Microsoft has made a lot of money selling one-time software licenses, just wait until they've got people accustomed to paying them every month. You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

    This is one of those turnkey moments in history, folks. Either we plant our feet solidly and draw a line, or lose the whole farm as Microsoft convinces all the neighbors to sell out.
  • Uneasiness... (Score:3, Informative)

    by catdevnull (531283) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @04:53PM (#19842683)
    I'm not trying to bash Microsoft, but they don't exactly have the best reputation in the realm of security.

    I would be VERY hesitant to use a MS service that allows access to "all of my content" using a nebulous array of servers. I certainly wouldn't want to be an early adopter of this technology until they can prove a secure track record--especially given the problems with their current product lines.

    Even if a miraculous thing happens and the "Live Core" thing ends up being pretty secure, my biggest problem with this technology is its reliance on networking. If a second miracle happens and the quality, quantity, and ubiquity of broadband networking over the air and standard transmisson media gets to a point where it is reliable and affordable then we might be looking at a viable useable service.

    As it stands today, MS's security holes and the limited reliability/availablity of current broadband services keep Steve's Live Core dream in the lab.
  • QuickBooks Example (Score:2, Informative)

    by alohatiger (313873)
    Intuit offers QuickBooks as a web application. It's a great idea (although it relies on ActiveX + IE) and worth paying the monthly fee. We could access it from anywhere and the accountant could get into the data without coming to our office. For us, it was much better than the normal locally installed software.

    Lots of apps (SalesForce.com, TaxCut, etc.) will benefit from this model.
  • Oblig funny (Score:3, Funny)

    by Twanfox (185252) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @05:02PM (#19842799)
    1) Make announcement of a revolutionary new Operating System
    2) ... Internet Cloud ...
    3) Profit!
  • We are in the process today of building out a service platform in the cloud


    That would seem to be the very definition of "vaporware".
  • The problem with Microsoft now is I think that it has decided that users want to use their computers in a more efficient way. The problem is that it hasn't quite got round to understanding that for the model that are hoping to adopt they will need to effectively offer their product for free.

    I could give you the most obvious answer, Linux - most distributions are free, you pay for the support. But even more importantly companies such as LOGMEIN.COM are now offering free basic services like those discussed
  • ...when I worked in Redmond, I already overhear many MS employees enthusiastically talking over lunch about selling people the "right" to use Word at $0.25 a pop. Some of them really feel like they're curing cancer or something.
  • Imagine if your init scripts contain the following:

    aptitude install kubuntu-desktop

    This is essentially what "software as a service" does. Oh, but what about data shared over the network with a bunch of people collaborating on the project ? Simple. Just add another line...

    svn up

    Really, that's pretty much all there is to it. Oh, but what if I want to run code on the remote server? Well...

    ssh username@host

    Hey, you could even add in an NX client if you want it really fancy. Software as a service is nothing new.
  • Here we go, back to the 'data center' idea for basic computing.

    I still remember when Microsoft was the alternative to the 'big boxes' with their leased resources. "a computer of your own"

    Tho its not much consolation, it is nice to see people starting to realize it was the better way of doing things.
  • (Not FTA...)

    Ballmer: [whilst dancing around and sweating profusely] "HA HA, Software-Plus-Services! Your mom is dumb and ugly and stupid and everyone thinks you smell!!!"

    You know, it sure is strange to hear about Ballmer teasing something. Isn't he usually the one getting teased [flamingmailbox.com]?

    Ohhh, wait, different kind of teasing. My mistake.

  • These aren't services. It's another attempt to fully realize the pay-forever model.

    I don't know whether to embrace it or hate it. This more than anything could actually hasten the adoption of OSS.
  • was "We're building a cloudbase [tvcentury21.com] from which I will RULE THE WORLD"

UNIX is many things to many people, but it's never been everything to anybody.

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