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Microsoft Tries to Remain the Giant in a Cloud Computing World

As a monstrous software competitor of the old guard, Microsoft single greatest threat would appear to be cloud computing. Software that comes to you as an online service may make Microsoft’s Windows and Office Suite seem obsolete.

Yet, Microsoft has clearly been preparing for the day that cloud computing becomes the norm. And there isn’t much reason why Microsoft can’t be a major player in the cloud industry. Cloud computing requires massive data structure, intelligent computer engineering, and marketing resources, all of which Microsoft excels at.

At the Cowen & Co. Technology Conference, Doug Hauger, General Manager at Microsoft, discussed the company’s strategy and various measures taken with each product line to move forward in cloud computing:

  • Microsoft’s Office suite is still kicking and screaming against Google’s industry-invading productivity applications. Microsoft offers a free version of Office online and has made paid versions more web-compatible.
  • Collaboration programs like Microsoft Sharepoint and Live Meeting can be externally hosted. Microsoft is trying to attract customers from the collaboration software industry, brushing up against the likes of Cisco and IBM
  • The Microsoft Dynamics product line has also moved online; the business solutions are offered as on-demand and hosted by Microsoft partners. This puts the company in contention with Oracle and, who have their own cloud-based business applications.
  • Above all, Microsoft’s cloud strategy depends on Azure, a platform that allows developers to collaborate on application building, developing, and deployment.

Microsoft’s cloud computing forays, besides the free version of Office, may take bites out of the competition’s product sales. In particular, Azure should have high developer acclaim. Whether or not Microsoft is entirely successful, the company is here to stay for a long while. The IT giant won’t be toppled so easily, and may even continue to dominate the changing markets for years to come.

[Photo courtesy of tinypic.]