Microsoft is -- almost -- ready to explain what Windows Live "the platform" looks like.
Last year at Microsoft's annual Financial Analyst Meeting (FAM) Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie provided a very high-level (and tough-to-follow) outline of what Microsoft's Live platform was going to look like. This year, Ozzie abandoned the 50,000-foot view in favor of a, perhaps, 25,000-foot view.
Ozzie told FAM attendees that Microsoft will be fleshing out its "Live services framework" over the next 12 to 18 months. That services framework will consist of four layers: Global Foundation Services: This is the physical infrastructure that powers the cloud, including data centers, racks of disks, networks and the people building and monitoring this infrastructure
Cloud Infrastructure Services: The computing, networking and storage software layer. This is the "utility computing fabric on which all of our online services run," Ozzie said. It also includes application frameworks for "horizontal scaling" and the storage, filesystems, databases and searchable storage. This is Corporate Vice President Amitabh Srivasta's baby. Live Platform Services: Identity and directory; device management and security; adCenter ad platform; communications and "rendezvous and presence." David Treadwell is the new Corporate VP in charge of this layer.
This mention of "rendezvous" is kind of curious. (Anyone know more about what, exactly, Microsoft means in using this specific term? Is it a product? Or just a generic term synonymous with P2P?) I noticed CEO Steve Ballmer also talked about rendezvous at the Worldwide Partner Conference when discussing Live. Ballmer's quote:
"On top of this new platform, the cloud infrastructure services, we're also building directory services, rendezvous, device management, the kinds of things that we deliver to you today in our packaged products, Windows Server, Active Directory, MOM, but really transported to this services back-end world, with the same kinds of applications again that have been rewritten to fit in this huge scale, very low cost of operations services platform, productivity services, community, collaboration, commerce and search services, et cetera. That's the application level."
Applications and Solutions: These are the services that will run on top of the infrastructure -- things like connected entertainmnet, document sharing and collaboration, hosted and Microsoft managed services, etc.
No big revelations here. But it feels like there's a little more light at the end of the Live tunnel....