Microsoft and their huge problem in the clouds…

*Note – This Blog is a repost of Alex Espinoza’s Blog Entry on 10/31/09. You can find the original post here.

I just recently read an article from Krishnan Subramanian, which I believe is very interesting: Microsoft’s Huge Cloud Problem.

I agree with most of the article’s comments. They have to be taken with a grain of salt, since most of is speculation. Very smart speculation, but speculation none the less. But What I do disagree completely, is the following line:

“..cloud is an evolution from the web and .NET was never a platform of choice in the web…”

I agree that the cloud is an evolution of the web, but the article talks about choice, who is it referring to? Is it the open source community? Or is the enterprise community? or is it both?

Obviously as an Open Source advocate, .Net or even Mono would not be your web platform of choice. You usually go to either PHP (which is the leader in the Open Source community) Ruby or Python (just to name a few, I know there are a lot more).

But in the enterprise world, .Net is very much relevant, and in most of the cases it is the platform of choice. I know that this is a huge market and the competition is strong, but to completely dismiss Asp.Net as not a platform of choice is far from the truth.

Asp.Net and .Net are very much relevant right now, and it will stay that way for a long time. Whether Azure succeeds or not.

It is a mistake to think that everything will be in the cloud. What will prevail are hybrid environments. That is why I think Microsoft will not only survive this (even though is going to be a really difficult climb), but it will remain relevant.

Google’s view of *EVERYTHING* in the Cloud is not very down to earth (hence the name, everything in the clouds). And in my opinion, it will never get there. A lot of things are going to be done in the cloud, and probably the majority, but not all. We are creatures of choices, and we will keep our options open.

Now with the open source movement, Microsoft has done a lot. And I actually think we should thank Miguel de Icaza and his team for this. He might be called a traitor by some, but I think he is the biggest Trojan Horse of all. He has been pushing Microsoft to open source (with the help of so many).

But let’s think about Mono for a minute. Microsoft already released the source code for .Net in a very closed license, which I see as a glass box (look but don’t touch). It is getting there, to that openness that the article is talking about. They know they have to do it. But they don’t know how.

Now, Mono is a very good example. They have been reproducing the signatures and interfaces to use .Net on Linux and it works like a charm. Also they have been adding their own mix.

Microsoft will end up releasing .Net as an Open Source project, it will not be soon though. They already have their own license for that. With what Mono has done, when Microsoft plans to release, the integration with Mono will make it easier to hit the market.

The article is right about one important thing, in order to compete in the clouds, they have to kill Windows as an Desktop OS. But I think it will prevail as Windows Azure. That is why the word “Windows” appears in there.

Just one more thing before I close this rant. I think the mistake that Netscape did with Mozilla, is a learning experience that can be applied anywhere. When Netscape decided to build their browser from Scratch instead of fixing their bloated browser at the time. They lost too much time, and they lost the browser wars. They should have fixed their browser, not start a new one, which ended up with the same problems. It eventually got fixed when the community did the right thing and fixed it with Firefox, but they didn’t not start from scratch, they fixed Mozilla.

Microsoft is the browser and we (the community) are Netscape. Are we going to kill Microsoft so that Apple or Google takes its place? And then end up with the same problems all over?

I wouldn’t really want Apple in Microsoft’s shoes. I can see what they can do with their App Store. They have so much to learn. It would be like going back to the 90’s. We already went this route with Microsoft so many times, and now, Microsoft is learning.

How about Google? I wouldn’t want Google either. They are still too young, and we haven’t seen their evil yet, which scares me a lot. They not only have a lot of power in the internet, they hold most of our data, and they want *ALL* of it. Everybody has an evil side, and Google is not any different. We just haven’t seen it yet.

Microsoft is a known evil, let’s fix it. Why change it for a new one, when this evil has already been changed so much, and it is learning to live with the community?

Well enough of rants…I’m going back to work.

Post contributed by Alex Espinoza Alex Espinoza, Software Development Manager for the Axis in Motion consulting team at Axis. Read more of Alex’s blogs at http://neonlabs.structum.net/blog/

Want to learn more about Alex and the Axis in Motion team? Email Alex here

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