As a technologist, I’ve been following the major changes in the field for many moons. It’s not an easy battle to understand the daily shifts in the global information platform game. In someways, it is exhausting and exciting. You need to have marathon level stamina and perspective too. I balance that information-gathering hobby with professionally practiced skills of trying to actually implement the marketing department’s promises. Those technologies are epic and small. The real shift in power comes from big companies that focus their business like laser on key industries to change the world with ideas and new ways of working. (Don’t “starfish and spider” me.. there are two sides to that book.)
The US has been a leader in tech and have been powerful because critical mass and adoption matters in certain early phases of technology introduction. No one has been better at reaching that all important critical mass than Microsoft. Their market penetration for defining computer usage has been effective in determining how we all think about what is possible with a computer. However, life has not been rosy at the top for Microsoft in recent years, they were not Internet driven as much as other players and Google is giving them a serious run for the money. Additionally, they made grave mistakes, gotten bogged down in their own internal interests and managed to hire some very smart people that were too smart to listen to the market.
The products became less exciting, the competition seemed to be running past with all the best ideas and it looked as if Microsoft was going the way of DEC, IBM and other big players that started out calling all the shots but got lazy or burdened by their own directions.
Apple, Google, Oracle, Intel and Amazon all seemed to be outdoing the entire MS model…. until… Azure.
The brainchild of a “OZ like” smart guy who can navigate the corporate machine of MS into new unchartered waters. MS has always been good at changing direction when necessary but it looks like this time they took the old Apple slogan “think different” to heart – and they may have a new world to build.
Azure positions itself as a solution to faster, better and cheaper rather than doing the same thing the old way. Finally, MS has fixed the key issue technologists have been facing for years. The old model of publishing software is dead and the life cycle for products, feature introduction and scalability will be defined by the Cloud space. This latest version promises to change the game for millions of companies around the world. Cloud computing is set to play a major role in defining the way it will be used and the adoption rate.
The key for me is their overall initiative. There is a strong focus, not a pet project or a hard sell. This is soon to be a replacement for hosting businesses as we know it. (while converting existing large players to a MS cloud platform.)
I suspect that we will look back at this moment as a key crossroads in the future of computing. Let’s see what happens in the next few months.
As for me, I am preparing.