Microsoft, the anti-Google?

Microsoft, the anti-Google?

Summary: Microsoft gradually sheds its reputation as a proprietary local software provider, reaches out to cloud and open source.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Microsoft, the anti-Google?

That's one of the subtitles attached to Cade Metz's latest analysis of Microsoft's cloud strategy in Wired.  I like that description, because it represents an Interesting take on the software giant's future positioning in this wild and crazy market.

The Redmond giant has made a lot of progress in building and offering Windows Azure over the past year, but for some reason can't get its full message heard above the cacophony of noise about cloud.

Microsoft's challenge is this: its bread-and-butter -- and home turf -- is the PC, with localized software. It may be trying to turn its messaging away from that, but perhaps, ultimately, it will turn out to be a long-term strength.

It reminds me of IBM's classic struggle a couple of decades back -- its bread and butter was the mainframe, but its marketing message was that it was anything but. IBM was a software company, middleware company, PC company, UNIX company, etc.  But the money came from the mainframe. As time went on, however, the company recognized that Big Iron was its greatest asset. (And lately has been achieving record sales with its System z box.) Perhaps a lesson for Microsoft as well.

But Microsoft is clearly moving to the cloud, and, according to executives interviewed in the article, isn't afraid to cannibalize its resident PC and server businesses to move customers to the cloud as well.

As Kurt DelBene, head of Microsoft’s Office division, put it: “We’re as serious about the cloud as we are about evolving our businesses.... As engineers, we say: ‘[The cloud is] the way the world is moving....’ If there’s one thing I want to make sure that’s clear, it’s that we feel very deeply in our hearts that [the cloud] is where we’re going.”

Office 365, Microsoft's cloud-based productivity offering with hosted versions of Exchange, Lync and SharePoint, was announced last year. Windows Azure, a service for building and deploying applications hosted at Microsoft data centers, was first announced in October 2008.  Microsoft's cloud offerings are designed to interoperate with local PC and server software.

Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft's Server and Tools division, is also quoted in the article, pointing out that currently, most developers are using Azure for projects based on the .NET framework. However, Azure also supports  Java and PHP-based applications, as well as the open-source Node.js platform.

This is where Microsoft's anti-Google proposition comes into play. Metz writes:

"In this respect, Azure has evolved beyond Google App Engine, a service known for tightly restricting what developers can and can’t do. It not only embraces a wide-range of languages, it handles outside databases and other services. Last week, at a conference in Silicon Valley, 10gen — the startup behind the open source NoSQL database MongoDB — demonstrated the database running on Azure. That’s not something you can do with App Engine."

Topic: Microsoft

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19 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

    Then ask google to stop other project and concentrate on only Search....

    I am MS .NET Architect ...
    for me MS - is everything as a developer...

    GOOGLE - Gave Over Once Google Loose Eyes ...( you might have guessed it its only Search engine.)

    thanks
    Sreeni
    Sreenidotnet
    • The World would be better of with out MS

      MS .NET is a great programming language.

      Though, .NET is JAVA in an MS package.
      And most of the ideas in it, use to belong to Borland.

      As long as MS exists, and any company that develops software make agreements with MS, they are doomed out of existence.

      Examples are:

      a) Netscape
      b) Wordperfect
      c) Bordland
      d) SCO
      e) Novell

      The only one that survived and is back in business, though owned by MS is Apple. (look it up in wikipedia).
      Uralbas
      • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

        @Uralbas
        I agree. And lately that have stopped 2 mobile OS's by conveniently having an ex-Microsoft exec in Nokia, Symbian and MeeGo. They are working hard at limiting Android with much more cunning than Apple is (this goes under the radar of all bloggers). Microsoft has the clout to force Samsung, HTC, LG etc to pay them just because of the threat. Microsoft had in collusion with Intel, OEM's and retailers had stifled PC innovation for over 10 years. Microsoft wants everyone to be locked-in to their products. There who are entirely brought up on Microsoft and don't know and don't want to know anything else. Once surrendered to Microsoft it takes effort to get out of it, but the rewards are great.
        root12
      • Get your facts straight.

        @Uralbas MS lent money out to Apple, a mere 5% of their shares in return to keep MS Office alive on the Mac. In other words, they gave Apple a leash, but Apple bought back the shares and your ownership theory is only partially true. And Apple bought back their shares years ago. And Apple is owned strictly by Apple, NOT BULLY MS, WHICH THEY STILL ARE.
        leod1961
      • Uralbas, what competitor of Microsoft do you work for?

        @Uralbas
        You appear to labor long and hard crafting your obviouslly fanciful posts that one must wonder as to who you work for, as why would someone spread the FUD that you do, unless there was something in it for you.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

        @Uralbas

        And let's not forget:

        A) Did you enjoy paying for your browser?
        B) You have me there, but I still like Office
        C and D) No clue, so I won't comment.
        E) Novell? They were killed by the anti-MS sentiment you push.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Reaches out to open source?

        Reaches out to open source = Embrace...extend...extinguish
        ScorpioBlue
  • MS feels "born again"

    Thank goodness for the antitrust actions that were taken against them. Competition is turning out to be a wonderful thing...maybe even for MS.
    x I'm tc
    • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

      @jdakula
      +1
      stepan hakobyan
  • Microsoft the irrelevant

    A better title.
    GoPower
    • You already have that title

      @GoPower
      so I guess nobody else can use it.

      LOL! :)
      William Farrel
    • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

      @GoPower MS isn't irrelevant, it's more like it's in the way. If it vanished and the world had to get by without them eventually it wouldn't need them at all. But it would certainly notice they were gone. In the meantime however, to spite the 20% of things MS does well, the remainder just inhibit other companies from innovating or competing.
      Socratesfoot
  • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

    MS has been in the cloud for a while, they just suck at marketing it.
    spaulagain2
    • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

      @spaulagain Good point. Yet, they once had the marketing machine in the past that pushed out every competitor (including Apple) that dared stand in its way. What is it about their marketing this time?
      joemckendrick
      • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

        @Joe McKendrick

        They use to could buy the media and show vaporware.
        Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

        @Return_of_the_jedi
        Love your name but I have to call BS on your comment. Vaporware is software that doesn't exist. You can't sell vaporware. Microsoft did not become the massive company it has by not selling vaporware.

        As far as the media is concerned... MS did not buy them any more than AOL or Google or Apple did. The media cover what they think is hot without regard to merit.
        e182
  • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

    While all the services are nice, the most important thing that MS can offer is software and services without integrated spyware. Microsoft makes plenty of money with their software, so don't need to spy on users. That gives me a greater sense of security than using any apps or services from Google. Google has to spy on their users. It is the basis of their business model. We need companies like Apple and Microsoft who don't depend on the advertising model to make money.
    jorjitop
    • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

      @jorjitop
      "don't depend on the advertising model to make money"

      Ever heard of Bing. Do you suppose MS can afford to tell it's shareholders it's going to keep losing $3B a year on it due to their incompetent algorithm. If not, what will they do? Most likely, they'll use their partnership with Facebook to buy user data. Oh wait ... they've already done that. If you were worried about some company (whose websites you are on) collecting what terms you search for then you better be worried about some company collecting info about your friends, messages, pics etc . from Facebook.

      Google actually has a competent algorithm so they aren't under pressure from shareholders to find other ways to profit from their search engine.
      anono
      • RE: Microsoft, the anti-Google?

        @anono

        Last I heard the profit from the other "Don't depend on advertising revenue" is actually propping up Bing. Whereas if Google stops asking phone numbers every time I had to log into my Gmail account, they would be starved of the data on me that they could use to sell me things.
        madfry