Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that the company is working on a new OS designed for “cloud computing.” Although he offered few details, he did say that the official announcement would happen later this month at the company’s Professional Developers Conference (which will also see the first demo of Windows 7).
So how does Windows Cloud fit with Windows 7? Well, Ballmer says they’re different projects, and reading between the lines we suspect that Windows Cloud (which is not an official name) is much closer to Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) offering than the consumer OS you normally associate with the Windows brand.
Speaking at a Microsoft-sponsored conference in London, Ballmer said that the new operating system is targeted at developers writing cloud-computing applications — think Microsoft Live Mesh on steroids, perhaps with some new APIs and other tools for designing and building web-apps.
So why would Microsoft be interested in competing with AWS? Well, the company has long dismissed software-as-a-service tools like Google Docs, preferring to pursue what it calls “software plus services.” That is, Microsoft’s approach is not to the replace current desktop apps, but to augment them with web-based services.
To get the kind of tight web-desktop integration the company is after will likely require a new platform that gives developers a way to hook into existing desktop apps. And we suspect that’s what “Windows Cloud” will be.
Of course, for now, it’s just speculation, but Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, kicks off October 28 so we won’t have to wait too long. We’ll be sure to update you when the official announcement is made.
[via Computer World]