Microsoft and the Cloud

This report from the Seattle Daily Tech Flash was also reported in TechCrunch today… Given the discussion on life in the clouds here in past blogs and with friends, I found this of note. Microsoft certainly seems to be subscribing to the “better late than never” approach. Google snapped up several document collaboration technologies in the past few months including DocVerse (, announced today, and Etherpad (, announced in December. Both appear aimed at strengthening Google’s online collaboration tools including Google Apps and Google Wave. Microsoft’s Office 2010 promises more cloud-based options for Office users. Will the missive from Redmond be enough?

At this stage of the game Google definitely appears well ahead of Redmond in the innovation and acquisition department. Yet a customer base of approximately 700 million users lets Microsoft be late to the party and still come out strong IF (and this is a big “IF”) Office customers see enough value in staying with Microsoft versus the many new options — many of which are low cost or free. Time will tell…

Email: Ballmer tells Microsoft employees to embrace cloudBy Todd Bishop on Thursday, March 4, 2010, 5:28pm PST

Every once in a while, Microsoft’s top executives mark big shifts in technology or corporate strategy with internal memos that serve as a call to arms for employees, and send a signal to the rest of the industry when they inevitably leak out. Probably the most famous was Bill Gates’ 1995 Internet Tidal Wave memo (PDF) in which the Microsoft chairman turned the company’s attention to the rise of the online world.

This won’t rank up there with that one, but Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today issued an email underscoring the company’s cloud-computing strategy, echoing the themes from his speech at the University of Washington earlier today. TechCrunch published the memo earlier today, and we were able to confirm its authenticity and obtain a copy of our own. Continue reading for the full text.



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