Barry Ritholtz is an investment guy who calls bullshit on the thieves and hucksters in the system. He's one of the good guys.
His point, however, is that the internet has largely made Microsoft's old business model irrelevant. That is, selling to businesses first since many business apps are only Windows compatible is still a viable business, but there's not a big future there. The proliferation of cloud computing has placed more business services in the browser, rather than in the data center, making it easier for businesses to let users choose their own devices. Thus why we all say that most of our time is spent accessing, sharing, or downloading data through the browser.
Just an FYI: Microsoft has made a major and serious commitment to cloud technology and already has product available for it. There's been a huge amount of material and training available in the Partner to channel to get them ready for it. Because it's going to completely revamp how Redmond does business in the not too distant future.
Basically, Microsoft is gearing up for providing everything
they make to users as a web accessible service for a very reasonable monthly fee. No contracts. No commitments. Buy what you require, add additional users and capacity as needed, reduce it when your don't. No more servers to set up, no more office suites or other software to update, no more security to worry about. Help resources whenever you need it. 24 x 365. All administrated by the customer
through a simple dashboard that allows you to add or remove services as needed.
Very sweet. Makes a huge mount of sense for small and midsize businesses who need IT but would rather not do it themselves...or pay a company like mine
to handle it for them. (Grrrrr...
So I think Microsoft has it covered. They're already moving over to "Software as a Service."
And the MS Partners have been put on notice that a lot of the "old way" we've done business is either going to change or soon disappear. A major pain for many of us. My company is still pondering our next steps in the wake of this new initiative.
This could, however, be a major bonanza for software developers since Microsoft is strongly encouraging all its Partners to start thinking in terms of developing applications and add-ons for industry specific needs. In short, start thinking system design, customizations, and client specific solutions
. Because the generic one-size-fits-all stuff (i.e. file/print/collaboration/mail/web servers and services) is going to start moving over to Microsoft's cloud.
So if it's a Microsoft product you're selling - which you currently set up straight out of the box with no significant changes
- you'll soon be out of luck. Because Microsoft's Cloud services is going to start handling all
of that. Those Gen-4 "modular" data centers Microsoft is building aren't being put in place just to host GenuineAdvantage™ and the Microsoft update services.
I'm very surprised Ritholtz made no mention of any of this. It's not like it's a secret. The sales brochures are already available. Go to Microsoft's website and search for "cloud."
Whole new world for Microsoft. And one they're definitely gearing up to be a major playa
Note: I'm not trying to be a Microsoft advocate or apologist with any if this. What I am taking issue with is how little so many industry 'experts' and bloggers seem to know about what Microsoft is working on or currently doing.
Not that it ever stops them from writing about Microsoft.