By Tim Greene, Network World (US) | Jun 19, 2012
Those are the two big messages the company pushed at its TechEd North America 2012 conference here, where some parts of those ideas resonated with customers, but others were met with skepticism.
"Move development to the cloud? That's a pretty good idea," said Andre Beaupre, president of Groupe ABI, a data center consultancy in Montreal. He was embracing Microsoft's spin that Windows Server 2012 plus its upgraded cloud offering, Azure, equals a cloud operating system that can boost capacity on the fly as needed for developers.
Microsoft also says its cloud OS can front-end applications while keeping data those apps use safe at corporate sites, and that it supports moving entire virtual servers -- including Linux servers -- in and out of Azure.
As for Windows 8 being ready, its radical shift toward touch and Metro-style, graphics-heavy apps had customers at the conference wondering whether the end users they serve will see enough value to climb the learning curve for the new OS. "I don't know how it's going to be accepted," said Steve Williamson, a sys/ops manager at Santa Fe College in Gainsville, Fla., with about 22,500 students, faculty and staff. "I'll probably wait in it until I get some internal push for it."
Microsoft trumpeted its two big pushes at 90-minute keynotes attended by most of the 8,600 customers the company says attended its annual conference, which was celebrating its 20th year.
The cloud OS framework is built around Windows Server 2012 and Azure, both of which have significant new features.
The OS analogy goes like this: Operating systems manage hardware and are the platform on which applications run. A cloud OS, then, manages the hardware at the scale of a data center and provides the varying platforms on which applications run.