James Governor's Monkchips

Why Microsoft Cloud Will Fail With Hosting Partners

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What Isabel said. Seriously- Microsoft needs to own the service level and take advantage of web scale out architectures if its going to compete with Google. Zimbra is exposed to the same issue because of its OEM strategy. Web apps need web performance, and hosted apps just don’t offer that. From a third party perspective you really can’t compete against web scale volumes for hardware purchasing. eBay, Microsoft, Google et al. From a customer perspective don’t be fooled by AJAX and angle brackets. If its a web app it should perform like one. If you want to host the app locally knock yourself out.

disclosure: parts of Microsoft are clients.


  1. I think Microsoft does want to host apps locally. In its data centers and not through hosting partners.

    1. From Ray Ozzie’s speech last week:

    “The next layer above that is our cloud infrastructure services layer. It has application frameworks that support a variety of app models designed for horizontal scaling. It also supports several types of horizontally scalable storage. Another key element is networking services: where to efficiently serve up apps and content to Internet users worldwide in a very low-latency and efficient manner.”

    2. Somehow the passage above made me think of Windows Live architect James Hamilton’s “modular data center” presentations:

    Jame proposes filling shipping containers with servers and making those the unit of deployment/management. Because “any service of reasonable size—even the fairly small one we recently led —has data centers all over the world”.

    3. Back in November 2005, Robert Cringely predicted that Google would put shipping container data centers at 100s of peering points all over the world. He said it’d be a “thermonuclear Akamai” that ensures no Ajaxy app is more than a couple of hops away from any user.


    Coming soon, the MS CDN?

  2. more like msdn – the microsoft *service* delivery network… although obviously a diff acronym would be needed. but isabel i do think you’re on the right track.

  3. Given Microsoft’s product naming track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did decide to call it msdn 🙂

  4. Alienation of the channel will have consequences to the large vendors. Have you found any prediction models for these scenarios?

  5. Definitely a problem Nick. I tend to think models will change. Be more like mobile telecoms, perhaps. Thus, a company like Virocom is a Vodafone reseller, offering Blackberry implementation services and so on, without hosting backbone itself. So we would perhaps have Microsoft and a host of MNVOs (mobile virtual network operators), offering Microsoft hosted services, managed using Microsoft tools. Alienation of the channel- what choice do large vendors have, really, when Google is the competition?

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