Cloud computing – You say you want a revolution….

About 30 years ago there was a technology revolution underway that some referred to as the “PC revolution”, a time when companies were exploring the use of personal computers as a replacement for aging mainframe systems, typewriters or mounds of accounting being done on 10-key calculators.  I remember the late 80’s; I was fresh out of school working as a staff accountant at an insurance company putting numbers into green screen terminals after doing my initial work on columnar pads of accounting form paper, using a good old pencil and eraser before inputting the data into our mid-range PRIME system.  Then around 1988 I got my hands on a PC running MS-DOS, a spreadsheet and a word processing program.  It changed the way I worked entirely and I haven’t looked back since.

A little over 15 years ago, there was another technology revolution underway involving something called the Internet. I remember the day I wrote my first HTML based “Hello World” web page in Notepad and saved it to the web server.  When I opened that page in my browser I thought “this is going to change the world forever” and I haven’t looked back since.

Microsoft has been a key enabler and at the center of these transformative periods, helping people change the way they work, changing their companies and even the world.  People have done things using Microsoft technologies that were never possible before and that they were told would never be possible.

Which brings us to today and an exciting revolution occurring right now in the IT technology industry: Cloud computing. And we’re all part of it…. right in the middle of it - you, me, Microsoft, the industry and businesses of all sizes.

I’ve worked in many different areas at Microsoft over the years including various consumer and enterprise businesses.  Currently I’m involved in some of the cloud related work going on across the company and it has personally been a very exciting time for me seeing the technology transformation taking place internally with the availability of Windows Azure or announcement of Office 365, but also the way our customers such the State of California are adopting and benefiting from this new computing paradigm.

For years at Microsoft, we’ve been developing and delivering the foundation of the technologies that companies need to take advantage of cloud computing and realize its benefits, such as reducing costs, realizing new efficiencies for their businesses and having access to an IT infrastructure that scales to the needs of their business. These technologies help our customers take advantage of this revolution through an evolution, not a jolting change.

Today we’re launching something at this site that we call Cloud Power, which is about helping you think of ways that you can put cloud computing to work for your business in the ways you want to, as well as ways you may not have even thought of yet.  I personally love the name "Cloud Power" because it reminds me of how cloud computing is like a utility such as electricity or water.  When I need it, there is as much as I need available to me on-demand, and when I’m sleeping or gone for the day it’s relatively idle and in the end I pay for what I use.

I urge you to explore our new site and get into the conversation.  We’ll be looking across a wide variety of business and technology resources to bring together the content and thoughts from Microsoft and others that we believe are helping to elevate the conversation, demonstrating creative thinking and providing direction on where this cloud revolution is headed.  Sometimes it will be about solving real problems today, and other times there will be a little bit of fairy dust sprinkled in to help us all start imaging what is possible and where we can all go in the future.  Most of all, let’s all get ready to not look back… again.

Thanks for your time - larry

Comments (6)

  1. Nikhil – Microsoft provides training on Windows Azure and our Private Cloud offerings, including Hyper-V and System Center, at the Microsoft Learning site located here –

    Also, as I note above in one of my previous replies, a good place to start on cloud computing programming and understanding the benefits of what Microsoft has to offer would be on MSDN.  You can find information here –…/ff380142.aspx that will help you with the basics of developing for the cloud and getting started on Windows Azure.  You can also find a variety of information at the Microsoft Cloud Power site –  

    Getting started with some of the materials you'll find here should help you understand other areas you can investigate to broaden your knowledge of private and public cloud technologies.  Thanks and best of luck to you.


  2. Al – Time Sharing was basically a model where multiple users would take advantage of the resources available from a single computing resource typically through a dedicated client application experience.  

    Cloud computing on the other hand provides shared resources (hardware, software and information) to multiple users (often times many thousands or more at once, in the case of massive communities like searchers) through a variety of client experiences on a variety of devices such as desktops, laptops, tablet devices, smartphones, etc..  Cloud computing applications today can also take advantage of the vast data available online today to compile that data into information to deliver rich experience to customers.  Another benefit to cloud computing is the ability for the resources, particular the compute power, to be elastic in nature so that as a company needs access to more resources they’re instantly available much like a utility such as water or electricity to the home.  The company in turn pays for what they use versus making massive capital investments for hardware and other resources that they may only need occasionally.  Think of the case of a retailer that experiences high volumes of traffic during a specific point in time, such as a toy retailer leading up to the December holidays or with the new release of a new popular video game.

    Thanks – larry

  3. Karthik – A good place to start on cloud computing programming and understanding the benefits of what Microsoft has to offer would be on MSDN.  You can find information here –…/ff380142.aspx that will help you with the basics of developing for the cloud and getting started on Windows Azure.

    Thanks and hope that helps – larry

  4. Karthik KrishneGowda says:

    I am student in Warsaw Univ of Technology , Poland  and I am basically from electronics field . My Univ has some agreements IBM , and they working on  Cloud Computing . I am also offered a chance to  study this subject . I want to ask you, as I now only the basic of programming knowledge , will I be handle this project . I also want to now the implementation of this topic . Please can you throw some light on this topic.

    Thanking you

    Karthik Krishnegowda

  5. Al Perron says:

    Other than connect speeds how is "Cloud Computing"

    better than the many "time share services" available

    in the Boston area running mini computers

    in the Boston area in the 1980's ?

  6. Nikhil Shirgaonkar says:

    Hello Larry,

    I really looking forward for this thing as its the future technology but I am pretty confused as where to start from and how? Do I need to purse any kind of course or study for having knowledge about this. I have done my graduation in B.Sc specializing in IT and I want to get into this whole new world and want to be a active part of same.


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