I’ve given a few “cloud” talks lately and talked about Microsoft’s experience with cloud services, including Hotmail. Initially it struck me as odd to call Hotmail a cloud service as I’ve always just thought of it as email in the same way I think of Bing (or Google) as search. I mean, they’re not cloud computing right?
Correct….however, if we’re talking about cloud services or the cloud generically as distinct from cloud computing then Hotmail is a pretty fine example of a service delivered from the cloud and quite different from the browsing of web pages - which I wouldn’t call cloud services. It’s important to make that distinction between cloud computing (IaaS) and the cloud generically. In talking with lots of folks this week (including an interview with the BBC) I found that once you done that there is agreement.
What I also found this week is that as consumers, we tend take cloud services for granted and when talking with business folks, it can be easy to explain the benefit of the cloud to them by referring to consumer cloud services. Messenger (which delivers 9bn messages per day!) and XBOX Live are two fine examples and when businesses realise that it what the cloud is all about – consuming services rather than just web pages across the Internet, the penny starts to drop.
Increasingly I think of the cloud as being the combination of smart services, connected over smart networks to smart devices. For those who suggest cloud is a return to mainframes by putting everything at the centre, this helps to dispel the myth. We now have the ability to have intelligence at the centre, the edge or somewhere in between.
Anyway…it’s been a good week of talking cloud for me. I’m enjoying being out from behind the curtain for a while. This morning I talked to >600 people about Microsoft’s cloud strategy and it seemed to go down very well. I’ll be posting my slides on it soon.