Ballmer Stumps for Azure Down Under
- By Herb Torrens
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a rousing endorsement of cloud development
in Australia today at a Live Web Rally event entitled Liberation Day.
An animated Ballmer paced the stage for more than 45 minutes as he gave an
emphatic speech about Microsoft's new "operating system in the cloud,"
The event was attended by more than 1,000 Australian developers and was streamed
to more than 200,000 people around the world via Microsoft Studios to either Silverlight or Windows Media players.
Ballmer described Azure as a "development environment on a cloud platform."
"Real cool stuff comes from developers and you have one of the best developer
ecosystems in the world," Ballmer told the Sydney audience. "Today
is Liberation Day for developers around the world. A day when [the] Windows
Azure Services Platform gives you the potential to scale the possibilities and
create the next generation of software."
Ballmer said that the growth of social networking is driving the developer
ecosystem and that the cloud computing model of Azure will make it easier for
developers through "rich client cloud services."
"Marrying a cloud development environment to a social environment is phenomenal,"
Ballmer said. He then noted that the social networking model will evolve from
social applications to business-relationship applications, such as a Facebook
Clearly, Ballmer sees cloud computing services as a key part of Microsoft's
future. He said that when he first joined Microsoft, the goal was to put a PC
on every desktop. Today, the company's vision is to create a "seamless
experience for users to access the world of devices."
He said small businesses and startups will benefit from Microsoft's Software
plus Services offerings and rich client cloud services. He alluded to programs
such as Microsoft BizSpark and DreamSpark as examples of Microsoft leading the
shift to the cloud.
"Microsoft has the unique responsibility to provide power for developers
in this new world of Software plus Services," Ballmer said.
The ability to scale infrastructure to meet business needs is especially cost-effective
for small and startup businesses, he said.
"User experience is the key," Ballmer said. "Today we can create
a rich set of services that help build relationships and develop the next generation
of applications and devices. "
He concluded his presentation by saying that the best profession in the future
will be in software development. "Ten years from now, computers will track
every surface in the world."
Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.