Microsoft won’t miss the cloud computing party

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Over the years many companies professed the benefits of cloud computing and announced several efforts (sometimes even products) to make it a reality. 
As virtualization seems a fundamental block to build ubiquitous architectures, VMware is now in a very special position to make its me too attempt more relevant than the others. And quite honestly its me too attempt sounds so much better than several previous ones.

Its competitor Citrix didn’t waste time and announced that XenServer can be on clouds as well, and the good buddy Microsoft couldn’t miss the party as well.

At the end of this month, at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2008 in Los Angeles, Microsoft will unveil a version of Windows for cloud computing.
It’s unknown if it will use any form of virtualization and how far is this version of the operating system from the RTM but it seems clear that Microsoft hinted at this product to answer the just announced VMware roadmap.

As Steve Ballmer specifically mentioned hosted software, the OS may feature a deep integration with application virtualization App-V (formerly SoftGrid, acquired by Softricity in 2006).

App-V is only available for desktop deployments at the moment which is enough to offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) but not enough to build a cloud computing stack.
Nonetheless already highlighted that Microsoft is working to bring App-V on the server side, where Hyper-V is already waiting.

In any case, if Microsoft really wants to go for could computing through virtualization and wants to do it fast, it has to complete a number of acquisitions in the space to add the (many) features that it’s missing or it has to call a large number of partners to fill the holes as soon as possible.