Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Red Dog and Windows Cloud: Microsoft is coming!

Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference 2008 makes it clear that the nature of software development is radically changing. Microsoft, as no other vendor, has always recognized that the riches of the platform are directly proportional to the number of good developers that work on your platform. As such, Microsoft has always had absolutely fantastic development tools for all aspects and segments of the IT workload. Typically, they are not leading with technologies, but they sure know how to package and disseminate technology when it is ready. The C/C++ compilers are one example, Active Server Pages and C# are others.

Enter HPC, cluster, and cloud computing: so far this has been driven by Linux mainly because there have been no commercial offerings that solve the problem of pedal-to-the-metal applications that need tight integration with the underlying hardware and operating system services such as memory, communication stacks and I/O.

For a decade now, Google has blazed the way with web-scale hardware and software infrastructures that are showing their true value. And now Amazon Web Services is also offering an IT-for-rent model that is perfect for web based services. Detrimental to Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services do not enable any Microsoft application software, operating systems, development tools, or even web services. Clearly, this is moving momentum away from the Microsoft universe and they have to counter to stay relevant.

Red Dog appears to be the first salvo across developers bows that Microsoft is coming. Red Dog is Microsoft's IT-for-rent story, as an answer to Linux centric Amazon Web Services. The second shot is dubbed "Windows Cloud". It is a development environment for Internet-based applications, as an answer to Python centric Google Gears.

Given Microsoft's track record to build very productive development environments that have the hearts of most internal IT shops, I am confident that this will accelerate the Cloud Computing adoption in the mid-market.

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