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Microsoft Businesses

Windows Azure Offers Developers Iron-Clad Lock-in 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-looking-for-that-silver-lining dept.
snydeq writes "Microsoft's move to the cloud is certain to create a whole new kind of developer partner, Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes. But as much as Microsoft ISVs will likely go along with the shift to Windows Azure to keep revenue streams going, the kind of lock-in they will experience will be worlds away from what they face today. Rather than being able to ignore the new version of a key framework, developers will have no other option than to update their code to suit Microsoft's latest platform. That kind of lock-in will leave customers in the lurch, subject to their vendors' bottom lines, as ISVs that can't afford to rework code to keep up with Microsoft's latest platform will begin dropping services, and customers will have little choice but to accept the new terms of service their vendors send along."
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Windows Azure Offers Developers Iron-Clad Lock-in

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  • Vuze? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jrabbit05 (943335) on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:25PM (#25590511)
    I still think that name looks way to close to Vuze/Azureus. Maybe its going to change post launch?
    • by Philip K Dickhead (906971) <folderol@fancypants.org> on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:34PM (#25590589) Journal

      in a cloud of dreams by Richard Stallman!

      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        Microsoft is moving more and more into a closed environment and the latest releases of Vista/Office 2007 are also an indication of this.

        Once users are bogged down into that marsh they have a hard time to change to anything else.

        It seems like we are heading back into the mainframe world of thinking and then we slowly have to accept that the software evolution becomes stagnant.

        • Microsoft just released the Linux sources and RedHat RPMs for monitoring and management agents. There are all sorts of things happening there - not every one of them in the same direction.

          The Open Source Lab at MS is really unexpected. It's tasked with a mission that surprises as many within the company as it does those outside.

          They used to have a motto: "One Microsoft". That's like "One America" - on paper, yes. There are more differences within the company than in 50 states.

        • by cjb658 (1235986)

          Perhaps Microsoft, seeing Linux and Apple as viable threats to their Windows monopoly, is taking more aggressive steps to hold on to it?

      • It's not fun to play, but I love it:

        1. BillGates descends from the mountain with stone tablets outlining his latest tech scheme.
        2. FOSS folk (Group A) beg clients to steer clear.
        3. MBA folk (Group B) make fun of group A
        4. Tech scheme changes, screws clients
        5. Clients ask for some bit of functionality that tech scheme isn't interested in providing. *Must work with tech scheme, which they can't get away from now.
        6. FOSS folk say that's hard, maybe impossible.
        7. Group B says that FOSS doesn't work very well.

    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      I do often wonder whether Vuse, Inc. can sue Microsoft for trademark infringement because of the similarities between Azure and Azureus.

      • No more than anyone would be able to sue for the re-use of the word "midori". Midori is green, azure is blue, they are colors and no one is going to sue anyone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Orion Blastar (457579)

      When I think of Windows Azure, I tend to think of This Game [wikipedia.org].

      Bill Gates and Microsoft are part of the New Alliance, and put Azure tattoos on the developers so that they can secretly control them and lock them into working for the New Alliance.

      • Re:Vuze? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @12:17AM (#25592343) Homepage

        Azure has far more to do with investors than it does with developers. It is all about creating the illusion of long term high profit margin revenue, that can be obtained by lock in style business practices. As M$ is struggling with both Vista and Office 2007, they need something more than the poor fiscal performance of xbox and the disaster of MSN. Google finds itself in a similar problem with regard to high share price limited growth opportunities in search and the inevitable break up of that market.

        Crippled cloud solves their fiscal desires but really does nothing for the majority of the market, both of them are really lathering up the hype, advertising as news articles popping up all over the place especially in mass media, all trying to create a demand that doesn't really exist.

        Realistically in tight economic times development will stagnate, companies will stick with what they have for as long as they can and only change when they are forced too and then that change will be targeted at long term solutions, where they have the greatest control over outlays and future investment cycles.

        • Re:Vuze? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mcrbids (148650) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:59AM (#25592993) Journal

          Realistically in tight economic times development will stagnate, companies will stick with what they have for as long as they can and only change when they are forced too and then that change will be targeted at long term solutions, where they have the greatest control over outlays and future investment cycles.

          Really? Because that's not the trend I'm seeing - at all.

          As a hosted application provider, I'm finding our clients squeezing their belts, left, right, and center. They're nervous, they're scared, they're jumpy. And it seems that the more jumpy and scared they get, the more contracts we are signing, left, right and center!

          See, our product is designed to cut costs by automating compliance to legal requirements. It's a hosted application, and many of our new contracts view us as a way to eliminate the cost of maintaining home-brew stuff that's low quality and costly to maintain. Our products, on the other hand, are comprehensive, well funded, and reasonably priced.

          I guess you could say that there is some lock-in with our product, because although we don't want to hold anybody hostage, we're not giving away our source code, either. We certainly wouldn't hesitate to turn over our client's data on demand, (they can click-to-download most of it without ever consulting us) but our clients aren't generally the coding type, and the marketplace for our wares is almost a niche.

          I believe that a good business is truly a relationship between the business and its customers. When the business truly considers the needs of its potential customers, and works to meet those needs in an efficient, professional, and competent manner, the customers really won't mind returning the favor. In our case, we almost let our customers outsource their worries to us, and we work hard to make sure that we deliver.

          The result? Rapid growth, and customers who rave!

          • by CBravo (35450)

            I second that. I work at such a place too: 25% profit margin on a 'cheap' product (for European standards).

    • The name "windows" was stolen from x-windows & "aero" from the GTK theme. MS does not care about that sort of thing one bit.
  • Like iPhone (Score:2, Troll)

    by Toe, The (545098)
    So is that any different from iPhone OS? Is this the trend of the future (outside of Linux, that is)?
    • Re:Like iPhone (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Pollardito (781263) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:03PM (#25590853)
      I don't believe the iPhone yet requires you to apply every latest patch to your phone in order to stay on the network, so it is different because users of your app have the choice to not patch if patching breaks your app. The main theme of the article is that it's not the users' choice whether the cloud gets updated, it will get updated if and when the cloud maintainer is ready to update it (though he doesn't ever mention things like deprecated methods that are frequently used to ensure backwards compatibility) and that maintainer is not you the cloud application developer nor your client the cloud application user.

      The author says at the end that this same situation exists with every other cloud computing host though, and that's a part of the article that should have made it into the Slashdot summary
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:26PM (#25590525) Homepage Journal

    Constantly locked in to a upgrade path? No, way. No way will anyone go for this for anything real.

  • Microsoft (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:27PM (#25590529)

    In a world with new wars, pandemics, food crises, and economic meltdowns, it is good to know that the morals of one company have stayed the same. Microsoft is our rock in these crazy times.

    • Yeah a true sign of the coming Apocalypse is Microsoft making an open source GPL version of Windows that runs 100% of the legacy code out there and they give it away for free. Then they give VC startup money to small businesses to develop new technology to help them compete with Microsoft instead of buying out small businesses that compete with Microsoft because Microsoft cannot invent the innovative tech small businesses can (Like Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, Giant, etc).

      When Microsoft turns into a GNU Dirty Hi

  • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:35PM (#25590599) Homepage

    I'm sure he's already started on an open-source Mono-based Azure clone.

    • by Rayban (13436) * on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:55PM (#25590793) Homepage

      We won't see v1.0 until Microsoft releases Azure v2.0, though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ricegf (1059658)

      I attended PDC this year. Miguel gave a talk about / demo of Mono and its future on Wednesday evening to an enthusiastic standing-room only audience. At one point, a Microsoft leader in the back (couldn't see who it was) yelled out, "Microsoft loves Mono!".

      More interesting was "The Future of C#" talk earlier in the week, where the future of C# was revealed to be... Python. No kidding. C# 4.0 will include a static type of "dynamic" (the jokes just write themselves), which uses Jim Hugunin's (of Jython / I

    • by ebydav (529472) *
      So that would be Monure?
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:42PM (#25590667) Homepage Journal

    Those dark clouds i saw on the way home.

    • by Plekto (1018050) on Friday October 31, 2008 @07:53PM (#25590763)

      I can't imagine customers putting up with this sort of thing for very long, especially in a business environment.

      Oops - you didn't pay... your entire business goes dead.

      Open source never looked so good.

      (and apparently the new Linux version just out shows how the gap is rapidly shrinking)

  • Frameworks? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:07PM (#25590889)

    So why is there any reason to believe MS won't provide backward compatibility on their cloud stuff? That's what they do on the desktop....

    No i didn't RTFA, its a tradition i didn't want to break with.

  • so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thermian (1267986) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:07PM (#25590891)

    This is what Microsoft do. Its what they've done for decades, and it has made them hundreds of billions of dollars. The message they get from this is that customers don't mind their lock in, provided they get stuff that works. Therefore they don't see what they do as being wrong. If indeed it is wrong. I'm not so sure anymore.

    Microsoft software works, and usually works pretty well (Not including that heap of poo that is Vista, oh gods I hate that). Bottom line? Most companies buy Microsoft solutions, and you would be amazed how many still don't even know what Open Source is.

    They will continue to do so until Open Source software gets marketing as aggressive as that employed by Microsoft. It ain't about code/product quality boys and girls, its about your sales force. IBM learned this lesson early on. Microsoft learned it too, but Open Source is still laboring under the false impression that just having better code is enough.

    It isn't, trust me on this.

    • And quite often even when stuff doesn't work.

    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      What marketing? Microsoft didn't have to market until recently because everyone already knew about their products, and most of them were already customers.

      • Re:so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thermian (1267986) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:35PM (#25591117)

        What marketing? Microsoft didn't have to market until recently because everyone already knew about their products, and most of them were already customers.

        Eh? I'm guessing you've never worked in IT. Its hard to find an IT company more focused on marketing than Microsoft.

        • Re:so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by chebucto (992517) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:45PM (#25591215) Homepage

          I'm guessing he was born sometime around or after 1990. You'd have to have lived in a cave to have missed the Windows 95 marketing (remember how many 'news' stories there were about them buying 'start me up'? Wasn't Gates on Letterman?). They haven't had to do much marketing since Windows 98, granted, because by _that_ point they'd established their ~95% market share.

      • Re:so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grahamd0 (1129971) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:44PM (#25591207)

        Microsoft actively markets to enterprise customers, PC manufacturers and developers, and always has.

        They haven't marketed extensively to home users because they haven't had to. If you have Windows at work, all the programs you want to use are written for it, and it comes installed by default on any new PC, why would you even explore the possibility of getting something else?

        Even now, most people don't even realize there are alternatives.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      Then how do you explain Exchange Server ? Not that the average postfix setup is any more elegant, but at least those don't crash every couple of weeks.

      Microsoft's consumer apps may be somewhat reliable, consistent and intuitive, but on the server-side it is a clusterfuck of poorly documented functionality and mish-mash interfaces, seemingly designed so that you NEED that stupid MCSE (book) just to know which icon to click.

  • by iznogud (162711) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:10PM (#25590915)

    ... as opposed to, say, Google App Engine.

    • ...which has been reimplemented as open source.

      It only took maybe a week after it was launched, too.

      The only reason you'd be "locked in" to Google's service there is if you depend on them hosting your app for free. I call that a fair trade.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by resonantblue (950315)
        I call B.S. Please enlighten us on exactly how it has been reimplemented as open source? All of your storage is still done using Google's Big Table and the GQL query language. If you can find me the source for Big Table, please show it to me.
        • Please enlighten us on exactly how it has been reimplemented as open source?

          Right here. [appdrop.com]

          All of your storage is still done using Google's Big Table and the GQL query language. If you can find me the source for Big Table, please show it to me.

          I didn't say "released", I said "reimplemented".

          And Hadoop has done exactly that. [apache.org]

          I have no idea how compatible they are -- I see lots of talk of reimplementing GQL, and no actual mention of an implementation -- but the speed with which Appdrop was released certainly gives the lie to AppEngine's "lock-in". If you really need something Google is provided, there's a very good chance you can reimplement it quickly using what's already out there.

  • a whole lot if FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by txoof (553270) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:13PM (#25590929) Homepage
    This sounds like a whole lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt. developers are already subject to upgrading software as patches emerge. Business clients are likely to push out security and operability patches as they are released. They will demand the same level of service they receive now with Azure if the patches break their apps. Remember, new != scarry; new==different.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:15PM (#25590955) Homepage Journal

    One could look at this in one of two ways. The first way is the line taken by the summary writer, that it's doom, gloom and disaster. In practice, this is actually the most likely scenario, as the alternative I'm going to suggest has never been seriously adopted by software vendors yet.

    And now for that alternative! Writing code correctly. (Ooooh, scary! Just right for Halloween.) Correct code does not mean "correct according to Microsoft's preferred style", it means "abstracted out, so you don't give a damn about the underlying architecture" with "vendor-specific and platform-specific details encapsulated and hidden by portability libraries and high-level languages". If you write code that will run just equally well on a Cray 2, PC compatible, Apple, SGI Indigo or a microprocessor-controlled toaster, you can afford to simply not care what Microsoft does. The portability library(s), which might be any combination of cross-platform Open Source or Commercial libraries for common stuff, provides almost total immunity from Microsoft API changes, gives you (next to) zero upgrade costs (the "actual" costs are distributed across all of the vendors tied to the library at the time AND in future) and minimizes the risks (the minimum amount of 3rd party code is changed per API change and the maximum number of arcs are tested because everyone linking into the code becomes a QA).

    Since the only practical method of maintaining such a model at the pace at which Microsoft breaks^H^H^H^H^H^Hchanges things is Open Source, it will force an increase in the adoption of Open Source methods and Open Source tools. At which point, Microsoft becomes a rather expensive bit-player in the operation, in comparison to alternative clouds. Since portability libraries eliminate lock-in, as well as upgrade headaches, companies would start going with the cheaper option.

    This isn't going to happen, of course. Although the tie-in with Microsoft is harming vendors, creating excess overhead and reducing reliability, PHBs won't see it that way. All they will see is that lock-in means you can Blame Somebody Else. You can't sue them, you almost certainly can't even get them to honour their service agreements or any other contracts, but so what? Having Someone Else To Blame is the cornerstone of office politics. Good decisions are not. It doesn't matter if the company sinks as a result, since the notion of "company loyalty" is seen as something "old-fashioned" and inconsequential in today's environment. You go in, you get your paycheck, you eventually move on. It's expected. So why should a manager, who has no interest beyond looking good to other managers, care about good decisions? It won't earn them any more money, it won't get them any more respect, it won't give them a promotion, and it leaves them vulnerable to back-stabbing from other managers.

    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:41PM (#25591181) Homepage Journal
      Writing good code is expensive. This is one of the reasons why MS is so popular. It allows developers to write bad code that will still runs, is still sufficiently maintainable, and does the job with minimum reliability. This is why good code, which was never really in fad to begin with, never really took off. Even with modern tools, writing good portable code is largely cost prohibitive.

      This is why the PHB might not fall into this new trap. It seems that MS is trying to force good coding practices, with new fangled ideas like the MVC pattern. It may become easier to write bad code on an existing long term stable system than invest in the highly skilled, and invariably annoying people, that can write code that is so abstracted that components can be changed out on the fly. After all the MS philosophy is machines are cheaper than people, so it is better to buy more machines to run inefficient and buggy code that to pay people to write efficient and reliable code.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      That's kind of what .Net was supposed to be, yet in all but the simplest apps, you ended up tripping on weird or obscurely intrusive behavior and spent the other 90% of development time working around the framework's quirks.

      This will surely be no different. It's just like every other framework in the universe - works for some, fails for most.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Have you ever taken a good look at Microsoft's frameworks, such as MFC? Abstracting that sh*t out is _hard_. Much of your design is buried in non-code proprietary "resource" files which do not provide the facilities for layering or abstraction. In Windows you can dip below the high level OO APIs and program to the lower level C libraries (Win32), that's how Qt, FLTK, and other frameworks do it. It costs you productivity, but it lets you write portable code. Most programmers aren't going to think that f

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:17PM (#25590973) Homepage

    Because you spend so much time serving the Microsoft machine. Not just licensing, product activation and the time and resources that takes, but the constant upgrade cycles, new languages, new versions of the frameworks, security patches that break things...it's all freaking insane.

    We scrapped all that. Servers, desktops, dev tools, everything and migrated our development environment and desktops to open source. We can scale for the cost of hardware, our dev tools are simple, don't take all day to install and don't hog all your system resources. We use a lot of command line and prefer it. While you're still installing VisualStudio and getting through registration, we're already working.

    Our ROI is off the scale, we have more cash, spend more time actually working and we're turning out systems in time frames that would be the envy of any development shop. We use open source in business and our business works. I came out of a big Windows shop and we blow away anything they're doing with a fraction of the personnel.

    So now MS wants to take elements from several product lines, put it in a blender, then lock developers into their way of doing things. Gosh, let me think about that...no.

    If Microsoft offered real value, simple licensing terms, and provided products that actually contributed to our enterprise environment without being a dickish pain in the ass, we'd probably have a place for their products in our mix. But right now, no freaking way. Anything MS touches turns to crap. Their products are slow, complicated and bloated and we get by just fine without them.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:23PM (#25591031)
    this is bullcrap. MS is better than ANYONE at providing legacy support for old platforms. look at how long win32 stuck around? STILL works. backward compatability is one of the corner stones of MS's business. IMHO they can't win no matter what they do, if they break legacy support to fix things like security they end up taking heat like they have over vista, if they continue legacy support like they have been doing they take heat of lack of features and security.

    This guy has just blown out a load of basless speculation and your all buying into it (any giving him page hits).

    • i don't think they're as good as sun in this regard. and if you have the sourcecode, it's difficult to find a program written in c that once ran on a gnu/linux box and now won't.
      • and thinking about it, that's not the point. other's will adopt the new technology and so force you to adopt it as well. just like getting documents from people who use microsoft office forces you to have a number of different microsoft office installations so you can read the documents.
    • Of course, the reason you need legacy support for the applications is because it's so damn difficult to get the application to support an up to date platform.

      When you have the source, of course, you can patch it and recompile it. Not that this is free ; but supporting legacy features has it's own cost, as noted. If the product is open source, it's also likely that someone else will have already contributed patches.

      The reason you don't hear people harping on about backwards compatibility on *nix is because a

    • by ricegf (1059658)

      Indeed (and as much as it pains me to say it), Microsoft had several sessions at PDC on programming COM objects. People still do such things, rather surprisingly, and Microsoft continues to support them.

      And while the current Azure beta requires managed code (aka, .NET), they mentioned plans during the Monday keynote to eventually support unmanaged code.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by plsander (30907)

      Ummm... IBM called, would like their title back.

      Code written for the 1988 release of the AS/400 still runs on the current incarnations of the iSeries with no modifications. They have swapped out the processor architecture twice (at least) since that first announce.

      And I expect someone from the zSeries (nee s/360) to come along and point out a date 20 years earlier...

  • by icepick72 (834363) on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:38PM (#25591153)
    developers will have no other option than to update their code to suit Microsoft's latest platform.

    Likely you'll leave your Microsoft applications running on the platform version they're developed for while Microsoft may host many platform versions side-by-side. It's not unlike Google maps where developers can choose the API version their application runs with 1.x, 2.x, etc. Microsoft might be evil but they're not stupid, and they've been creating develop tools and frameworks for a very long time. They won't alienate their developers so there's no sense to assume a fearful stance because of a Slashdot submission like this.

  • by abh (22332) <ahockley@gmail.com> on Friday October 31, 2008 @08:54PM (#25591283) Homepage

    I haven't delved deep into the workings of either... but is the Azure/Microsoft lockin any different than lockin would be in writing apps for Google's App Engine?

  • Exactly like OS X. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday October 31, 2008 @09:05PM (#25591345) Journal

    I'm usually the first to bash Microsoft. I'm usually the last to defend them. I do think they deserve every bit of flame they get.

    But this is just getting stupid...

    Apple did exactly the same thing with OS X. I'm talking about the initial launch -- OS X was a completely backwards-incompatible change from OS 9. In fact, there were major architectural changes -- like the introduction of such modern features as protected memory -- which would have made it pretty much impossible to maintain pure backwards compatibility and do everything they wanted to do.

    So they said "fuck it", switched to a completely different architecture, and wrote an emulation/virtualization system called Classic.

    One thing which I know I've heard described for Windows 7 was the ability to run an older version (like Vista) in a virtual machine. You know, kind of like Classic. The only difference would be if Microsoft wanted to charge you for the license -- and I hope they aren't that stupid.

    I (and others) have frequently disparaged Microsoft for their bloated, crufty, undocumented (or under-documented, or mis-documented), and downright weird APIs. I know that before I heard about this change (which isn't news, by the way, it's been on Slashdot before), I figured I would do exactly the same thing if I was in Microsoft's shoes. Don't even try to support the old APIs -- just start entirely from scratch, build a compatibility layer, and tell people to upgrade.

    One more thing, and then I'm done: What the fuck does this have to do with lock-in? What, did you think Win32 was open? It's only portable thanks to Wine, and Wine never has, never will, never can catch up and support every single app.

    If you're going to be locked in anyway, why not be locked into something newer and (presumably) cleaner?

    If it's not clean, that's another argument. But this strategy is not about lock-in.

    End rant.

    • What Apple did with OSX, Microsoft did with Vista and Azure. But as I recall OSX Classic mode couldn't run all legacy Mac programs just as Vista's Win32 Legacy mode cannot run all Legacy Windows and DOS programs.

      I recall Mac OSX had the Basilisk 2 [online.fr] emulator to run Classic Mac 68K programs that OSX Classic mode couldn't run.

      Windows Vista uses VMWare or Virtual PC to run XP and under in Vista for Legacy Windows and DOS programs.

      But it is ironic that Amiga, Inc. when it wrote AmigaOS 3.1 found a way to run the

    • by ricegf (1059658)

      One thing which I know I've heard described for Windows 7 was the ability to run an older version (like Vista) in a virtual machine.

      This is true but misleading. Windows 7 is "Vista with lipstick" - it's completely compatible with Vista, according to Microsoft. Most importantly, Vista drivers should require zero changes, one of the "Vista killers" with regard to the huge base of XP drivers.

      IMHO, Windows 7 (I have a copy! :-) sucks significantly less than Vista. It's lighter (though nowhere near as light as Linux), more configurable (you can kill the UAC at last!), and has a few nice UI improvements (the integration of the task bar an

      • Windows 7 is "Vista with lipstick" - it's completely compatible with Vista, according to Microsoft. Most importantly, Vista drivers should require zero changes, one of the "Vista killers" with regard to the huge base of XP drivers.

        The drivers are a separate issue -- what's more interesting is what they've done to userspace (if anything).

        But I wouldn't be at all surprised. After all, Microsoft is still convinced (from the Mojave project) that Vista's problem was an image problem -- which seems funny to me, as Vista was so much about image (Aero) -- so if they can fix a few of the more glaring problems, package it up as "Windows 7" (which they did talk about as being so different), and sell the same shit back to us, that's a win for th

  • The first lockout was when Microsoft abandoned the Visual BASIC 6.0 and under platform (Classic Visual BASIC) in exchange for Visual BASIC.Net 2002 and above. But many developers rebelled and stuck with VB 6.0 (I get many contractors and headhunters asking me to train programmers for VB 6.0 programming on Windows XP and under.)

    Now this new platform will lock out the Visual Studio.Net 200X developers in exchange for the Cloud Framework.

    I told former employers that it is better to just rewrite programs from s

  • I can see why Microsoft like this, but the thing I don't get is of what benefit this whole approach is to the USER. None that I can think of, plus a whole lot of negatives besides.

    I'm guessing that IT dept. managers will perceive this as a way to get an easy life by having to do less complex setups or support. At nearly everywhere I've worked most IT/IS dept. managers are so owned by Microsoft they will mindlessly believe in and adopt whatever Microsoft promotes.

    Consequently its my guess that the adopters o

  • The first five of cloud experiences will be all about lock-in from all the vendors - you'd have to be an naive in the extreme to in any way single out Microsoft in that regard. Jesus, some of you folks need to get your head out of your asses for a different perspective - that same old view is starting to develop a stale odor...
    • Personally, I think cloud computing is going to turn out to be the next big thing that didn't go anywhere.

      You're right, the cloud APIs presented so far are a total lock-in. There's no open systems cloud. You'd have to be crazy to depend on cloud services for your business. Microsoft getting into it just makes that so much more obvious.

  • Unlike how MS competes in the desktop space, where the intel/windows hegemony pretty much precludes all direct competition, this cloud hosting thing is a different beast altogether. In the world of this kind of app development, it's really just a matter of APIs. The platform doesn't matter so much because the high-level APIs are the platform. And Windows Azure is sufficiently different from standard win32 apps and programming that current win32 developers really have no inherent advantage. The jump to A

  • happily ever after.
  • This platform is not tied to Microsoft 'run' servers, but sure you can host or use Microsoft hosting servers. So the only way this article is true is if the developer is hosting the content on a Microsoft owned Server.

    However, independant vendors, and even personal businesses can HOST the platform on their own in house, or 3rd party servers and be locked to whatever freaking versions they want.

    PERIOD.

    This stuff is just freaking insane that A) people don't get it and B) can go around the bend and off the cli

    • However, independant vendors, and even personal businesses can HOST the platform on their own in house, or 3rd party servers and be locked to whatever freaking versions they want.

      I see, so Microsoft's calling this Azure because it's a cloudless cloud.

      That's kind of Zen.

      A lot of this 'platform' is NOT EVEN tied to MS Windows Server technologies - geesh.

      So I can run it on Red Hat?

  • by zmollusc (763634) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @06:08AM (#25593587)

    Unlimited broadband seems to be going away, bandwidth caps are coming in, traffic shaping is already here and Microsoft want to move the processing to remote data centres? I look forward to scanning a photograph, editing it with CloudPaint and printing it out on my local printer using the generous 9kbytes/second upstream 200kbytes downstream i get from Virgin Media. I don't think i will even bother looking at CloudVideoEditor.

     

  • Just like Windows, it will be fine for them to do whatever they want until they get some big player in there with a lucrative revenue stream or some killer app that defines the platform. Then when MS wants to make a change they will be negotiating with those people who may or may not want to do such changes, if not MS will not want to loose customers and concede, thus having to make compromises and jury rigs to keep compatibility with the big market while trying to gain something else though a now half-ass

  • Excuse what could possibly be a dumb question here but is it like if you install Azure on your hardware, then you have to keep up to date with their latest and greatest or is it more like if you run apps on their cloud, then you have to keep up with their latest and greatest?

    If the former, then that will significantly raise your TCO for using Azure. It's very hard for little guys to keep up with Microsoft's technology churn. If the later, then that is a given with any cloud offering including Google's [google.com] an

  • At work, I am the resident "crazy open source guy" who is always raising the red flag on vendor lock-in. However, I have absolutely zero emotional attachment to technologies. To me, a computer is like a No. 2 pencil: it's just a tool with a particular set of capabilities and costs. Whatever provides the most value, use it.

    It just so happens that to most of my firm's customers, the Microsoft product line provides the best value. However, nothing is forever, and I can certainly imagine a future where othe

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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