Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that they are currently developing a new ‘Windows Cloud’ OS, which will be separate from Windows 7. Mr. Ballmer states that the new OS will make it easier for developers to write applications that will be used in future cloud computing, similar to what Google and others are offering. What is surprising is that the bread and butter for Microsoft has been their flagship operating system, Windows. By entering into the cloud market, one can ask exactly how far Redmond is willing to give up their cash cow OS and develop an alternative that may not be so lucrative.
In a recent article is states that:
Cloud computing is a term often applied to programs that are presented in a Web browser, but the actual computing is performed at a distant datacenter.
Ballmer was short on details, saying more information would spoil the announcement. Windows Cloud is a separate project from Windows 7, the OS Microsoft is developing to succeed Windows Vista.
Companies such as Google and Salesforce.com have embraced the concept of delivering software over the Internet, as it can mean lower costs and less maintenance for those who use the applications.
Ballmer was quick to point out that Microsoft doesn’t envision products such as the Office productivity suite to move entirely off desktop PCs and onto the Internet.
But Microsoft is working on a service that would let people do “light editing” of Office documents at places such as a public Internet kiosk, Ballmer said.
The ‘light editing’ statement may give us a clue that Microsoft is not willing to give up on its other cash cow, Office, just yet. So it will be a wait and see what Microsoft plans on offering developers.