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.'"