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Windows Azure Offers Developers Iron-Clad Lock-in

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the keep-looking-for-that-silver-lining dept.

Microsoft 227

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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Vuze? (4, Insightful)

Jrabbit05 (943335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590511)

I still think that name looks way to close to Vuze/Azureus. Maybe its going to change post launch?

I'll host MY applications (4, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590589)

in a cloud of dreams by Richard Stallman!

Re:Vuze? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591007)

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

Re:Vuze? (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591361)

For what exactly? The full product name is "Windows Azure" compared to "Azureus" (which is a made up word). I'll admit I noticed the similarity myself but I'd hardly say either of these 2 programs could be mistaken for the other.

Re:Vuze? (3, Insightful)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591531)

So it's OK for MS to remove the "us" at the end of Azureus to make Azure and everybody should be OK with that, but if somebody tries to replace the W in windows with an L to make Lindows, everyone should be up in arms about that?

In both cases, it seems like it has much more to do with WHO owns the trademark than with any sharply objective dividing line of legal fairness.

Re:Vuze? (5, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591585)

So it's OK for MS to remove the "us" at the end of Azureus to make Azure and everybody should be OK with that, but if somebody tries to replace the W in windows with an L to make Lindows, everyone should be up in arms about that?

In both cases, it seems like it has much more to do with WHO owns the trademark than with any sharply objective dividing line of legal fairness.

Microsoft did not "remove the 'us' from Azureus". Azure is a word already.
More importantly MS is not selling a product called "Azure", they have given a product they are developing the code name "Azure". When they actually release the product if they call it Azure, then it might be time to discuss this.

Re:Vuze? (1)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591737)

And some have argued that calling the product Lindows was a publicity stunt, due to the predictable reaction and the legal gray area. I don't doubt that MS calling its cloud Azure has a similar effect, the idea being to siphon a bit of the publicity and coolness factor from the #1 open source program (at least as listed on sourceforge).

My experience is MS borrows a lot from others for its trademarks, and this isn't the first time they have pulled a truncation-op on someone else's trademark. Anyone remember when Word started taking marketshare from the previously entrenched Wordperfect? That too was OK back then.

What chance do most of us have of calling a product Excelperfect? The fact is, they can do it but almost none of us can.

Re:Vuze? (1)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591997)

But, Lemmings was already a word. And, it isn't a far stretch from there to Lindows!!

And then there's area of applicability (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592007)

Windows is an operating system (suite)
Lindows was... an operating system (suite)

Azureus -was- a bittorrent client (nowadays 'Vuze', so who cares anyway?)
Azure would be... online.. web 2.0.. cloud.. computing.. something. Nothing remotely like a bittorrent client, at least.

Re:Vuze? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591615)

The difference is that Lindows and Windows are both operating systems. While Azureus is a bittorrent client, and Azure is an operating System.

Re:Vuze? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591833)

and that in the trademark arena means exactly what ? nothing. the idiocy and lack of understanding of basic legal principles on /. amazes me.

Re:Vuze? (1)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592029)

Azure is nothing like any Operating System I've ever seen.

Re:Vuze? (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591485)

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:Vuze? (2, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591775)

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

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? (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592343)

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.

Bill Gates pipe dream... (0, Offtopic)

unclekyky (1226026) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590513) bad he retired already.

Like iPhone (1, Troll)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590517)

So is that any different from iPhone OS? Is this the trend of the future (outside of Linux, that is)?

Re:Like iPhone (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590585)

Theyll sure try.

And we will sure grill them.

And it will go nowhere.

Custmers are running like crazy away from MS. AS very well they should.

Re:Like iPhone (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590619)

how is it different than android?

Re:Like iPhone (5, Informative)

zmjjmz (1264856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590743)

The Android allows you to download applications from the web, not jut the marketplace.

Re:Like iPhone (2, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590961)

for starters, Android is an open platform. Android dev kits are completely free (no developer program membership fee). and Google's distribution agreement, which is far less draconian, only applies if you want to distribute your application through Google. but developers are free to distribute their application themselves.

Re:Like iPhone (2, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591023)

The fee Microsoft charges for MSDN is a pittance; that's not really an issue. Android is a different market altogether.

The telcos have their own dev market.

Oracle has its own dev market, as does Microsoft, VMWare, and dozens of others.

That doesn't mean I agree with what you have to do to get Microsoft's thunderstorm cloud, but to make it rain, you'll have to spend money and time somewhere. My preference would be in an open environment with lots of choices. But even LAMP is a committment choice-- it just has an open source concept that I personally like to live with. MSDN enforces a discipline that takes a different kind of investment with a different kind of developer and a different potential market.

There are lots of choices in this world; I'm not choosing this one for these and other reasons.

Re:Like iPhone (1, Flamebait)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591591)

here goes -1 ott, but teach war, it's more profitable than peace.

oh and just to generally chime in; I absolutely despise the general idea, that programs and data is served and saved subject to some corps choosing.
Let's consider where this is going and where it's come from: software companies, as DRM (p.ex. of games) demonstrates in an acute example, want us to abide by their rules (latest EA forum-foul-up a great example - next to all that DRM BS). be it games, video, audio, software - they want to dictate the terms to us. now, what do I do as a major software dev, really fucking keen on money, who knows that cracking software can't so easily be stopped? I force users to be inspected by my watchful eye. I'd start off simple.. maybe have some software check for legitimate installations. then, I'd convince everyone, that they can save energy bills and general investment costs by shelling out for a UMPC. upon that, I'd offer my lightweight software that doesn't need an install on some 4gig SSD. the next step? what next step? it's all about details now! we feed them OUR software, only once they've bought it. they may use it, according to our TOS, which, in time, will include all kinds of irrational and draconian crap, like "your data is ours and we can snoop at will", or "we're cooperating with anything the feds chuck at us - actually, tell ya what - we'll just hand over your data now without being asked!".
actually, this isn't the worst part. the worst part, is that local PCs can (and supposing enough support, will) become useless without an uplink(although I HIGHLY doubt OSS will die of this.). I dunno - maybe I'm crying for the path my youth took and the path youths won't take again under these circumstances - but only being able to fuck around with a system when it's connected to the net and otherwise having a pretty useless box is an appalling situation.
fuck it - I'm savvy enough. personally, I don't care. but let's face facts here. year of the loonix has come and gone 20 times (although I'm hopeful for this year with UMPCs :) - the majority of users stick to m$ or nowadays bad apples. my real fucking gripe is that people won't necessarily instinctively learn how maths and logic work, but how microsoft works. in first instance, one might surmise "so fucking what, it's all about how they use a PC". but who'll care to read a man? who'll care to understand how it works? how something is actually installed?
windows already makes it "hard" enough to understand the way it works. and now we add to thinking, that a computer works the way windows dictates? it's wrong.. IT'S WROOONG!
meh, I'm done for now. alcohol needs my attention.

Re:Like iPhone (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591663)

There is a place where you can apply the same values to both open and closed source, in terms of professionalism, responsibility, and diligence. Some hacked projects are sucky code that somehow gets popular. Other are works of art. The motives of these projects can be myriad, but at some point, they get used by others.

The common denominator in whatever case is that techniques are used that protect the hapless, fools, and just plain civilian users of the apps and their data-- and allows them to use other apps alongside them where needed.

I get to see source to see how well done things are in one case, and not likely in the other, where I'm dependent on other organizations sense of property. The hapless, fools, and civilians have no clue about how to judge these things and should NEVER NEED TO. Quality is a responsibility. Some take that responsibility seriously and others don't for whatever reasons.

The denominator of quality in a lot of F/OSS is great. Some simply is not. The other portions of a product have to include reasonable docs/help/howtos for the masses, unless the target is for the advanced user, even coder. Half-assed code is still just that.

Linux-the-kernel is very well done and is professional, but is one major important component of a working service instance. The rest of those components are equally important from an availability perspective. Otherwise, I get a call: my (fill in this blank) isn't working. My personal decision then becomes: is this a charity case, or do I make money doing it? We go from there.

Teaching war can be a defense. There will be no peace until mothers tell their sons to abandon the wars of their fathers. All of them.

Re:Like iPhone (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592049)

I'm probably a tad drunk to fully comprehend your post, subtleties and all (and I will gladly return in 16 hours to post soberly), but to this point, my point is, that working with technology should become second nature to a person, along with reading and writing.
within the next few years & decades, there will be nothing as important as the internet (and/or technologies that build upon) and the communication possibilities it offers.
and that is exactly why I am pissed off, that people always learn less and less how technology actually works.
when I was 9 or so, I knew how the radio & tv worked.actually, I even knew the basics of computers.
only as soon as you understand how a technology works and what it actually does, can you reap it's full benefits.
the internet and even using a computer in general requires that you can write and read. tv and radio do not have this requirement.

Re:Like iPhone (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592203)

We disagree. Civilians will always be mainstream. You mistake your love and savvy with technology as what everyone should want. It will please you, but it's damn foolish and narcissistic to believe that.

Certainly we live in a more complex world, but although I love tomatoes, I'm not becoming a farmer. You can reapply this metaphor as many times as you want until you convince yourself it's true.

A mistake that geeks, coders, hackers, (I'm all) is that everyone is like us. They're absolutely not. Yes, coders and hackers often have tons of brainpower. That doesn't mean that everyone else does at all. Others have brainpower that's manifested in different disciplines, the arts, even in body-motive and they aren't going to make good technologists.

It's hubris to believe that people think like 'we' do. It's a HUGE mistake. Know them, and you'll understand. I like technology, but fuck technology. I have work to do, and if technology helps, so much the better. That I'm very good at it and can make a living at it is meaningless, if I'm irresponsible towards those who can't do what I do. Or don't want to.

Our paths of personal development are paralleled. I built crappy little truth table matrices on coffee cans before I hit puberty. BFD. I had a TV repair license at 16, ham at 17, FCC 1st Phone at 19, blah blah blah. Changes nothing. One of my best friends is a concert violinist and over the years has memorized untold number of works and can play them perfect from memory, beautifully. His wife can't play a note, but she can tell you very accurately how much an oriental rug is worth. The thread here is that both of them use their computer systems for some pretty sophisticated uses. And when they break, I get the call after they've exhausted their patience. That's ok. I love to listen to them, and in turn they watch in awe as I scrape their registry clean.

They have no interest in what a Registry is, and shouldn't need to know. On Microsoft's part, the Registry is an unbelievably bad idea that only recently has gotten protection from root object manipulation. They don't know the difference between root and a live hand grenade, and shouldn't have to.

Re:Like iPhone (3, Insightful)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590525)

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

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590871)

never underestimate human stupidity. after all bush got elected twice.

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590897)

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." -- Einstein

Yeah, okay, maybe you're right. ;)

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (1, Flamebait)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590983)

never underestimate human stupidity. after all bush got elected twice.

Well... once. Fox Network effectively elected him the first time, despite probably losing the actual vote. However, your point is still very valid.

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591715)

Actual vote is irrelevant.

Have faith. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591469)

With Vista adoption rates hovering under 10%, aka about as many people who think the moon missions were fake [] , you can rest assured that human stupidity is limited. Even cockroaches can avoid being burnt twice.

Re:Have faith. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591753) []

Sorry to disappoint you.

Linux seems to be doing great though. In about five years it should totally surpass Windows 2000.

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (0, Troll)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591135)

How is this different from Apple, especially the iPhone framework/appstore?


I mean I was running OSX 10.4 and spent more than $200 to get a iphone app to the store to make what? $10 in a week? Or forcing me to upgrade to all the new DRM features of Itunes 8 so I can run specific videos (I may or maynot have bought yet)?

Yes, MS is thinking differently, like Apple.

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591231)

I hope you were being sarcastic, as many companies do that today with their enterprise agreements.

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591559)

Unless they're convinced a package from MS is cheaper than their yearly IT budget.

Re:No serious enterprise customers will adopt this (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591709)

By whom? Catbert?

Aaaaaand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590527)

In other news, scientists discover that pure water does not contain strawberries.

Microsoft (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Microsoft (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591757)

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 Hippie company, you then know that the Apocalypse will soon start and the four horsemen are on their way. :)

Don't worry, Miguel will fix it (5, Funny)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590599)

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

Re:Don't worry, Miguel will fix it (4, Interesting)

Rayban (13436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590793)

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

Re:Don't worry, Miguel will fix it (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591171)

Ooooh burrrrn!

So that explains.. (3, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590667)

Those dark clouds i saw on the way home.

Re:So that explains.. (4, Interesting)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 5 years ago | (#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)

Corral and flog? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590681)

Just another version of embrace and extinguish...

"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."

I think what'll happen is the vendors that don't keep up will, as stated, fall by the wayside. BUT, i think mshaft is looking to be MORE like Apple in control of the not only the software, but the hardware as well. This might be mshaft's underhanded way of trying to "disincentivize" hardware makers from making hardware that is friendly or explorable to Linux.

Re:Corral and flog? FUDRUCKER! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590965)

Pish and bosh! When did MS drop compatibility? This is FUD through "the wrong end of the telescope".

I can run the clock, MSDOS Executive and Notepad from Windows 1.0 [] on Vista, forgodssake! .Net 1.0 code runs fine on the .Net 3 VM, just as most Java 1 code runs on the new Java6 JVM. Deprecated libraries can be accessed one way or another.

Azure is mostly a .Net machine with some REST for storage - with a very good deployment tool integrated with VisStudio TS. You want to pull out of the cloud and self-host? Pretty easy. Just watch your cost to deliver service go up.

Re:Corral and flog? FUDRUCKER! (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591041)

Too bad MOST of the world sucks off ms' tit, when like Tang, Hi-C, KoolAid, Gatorade and others there are more drinks to be had. There seriously ought to be a bust-up of ms' power. But, if they go in the direction of facilitating nations' governments' spying on their respective (and opponents' and friends'citizens/agents/operatives), then that hegemonic beast will NEVER be put down, slain or at least crippled as it ought to be...

It's too bad... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591161)

That most enterprises can so reliably count on some essential in-house applications breaking on the second tuesday of every month that they have to opt out of automatic patching and remain vulnerable until they can rewrite their apps around the stuff that breaks. Every month. The exploits now so swiftly follow the patches that customers are vulnerable to a broadly circulating exploit for a significant period of time each month. Every year that period gets longer. Eventually it may be unacceptably long to be considered a viable platform for serious work.

Re:Corral and flog? FUDRUCKER! (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591209)

Again, so-called "cloud" services are only cost-effective under certain conditions. A good sysadmin with cheap bandwidth can run circles around any hosted setup, and you get much more reliable throughput that way (if your sysadmin's any good).

Cloud computing being cheaper is a MYTH. It is billed in more granular fashion, which is great for attention-deficit developers who write the app-of-the-week, get their Digg and /. rush then fade away. Those people are not the driving force of the internet.

Frameworks? (3, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Frameworks? (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592061)

That's the main point in the article: since MS (as others) is always compelled to evolve to remain competitive, they will eventually force you to upgrade the applications: it is not always easy (or profitable) to maintain backward compatibility.

It is like an enterprise where the sysadmin has the full power to eventually upgrade the OS in all the servers, maybe with something *theoretically* back-compatible, but you know what that means...

Contrast with traditional non-cloud, where you may eventually find a DOS-box if that is what your application does require, and for whatever reason (there are many) you can't upgrade/rewrite it.

so what? (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:so what? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590911)

And quite often even when stuff doesn't work.

Re:so what? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591075)

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? (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (4, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591215)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591491)

That explains why they've replaced the Start button on Vista with a Windows logo! They didn't want to associate Vista with making "a grown man cry."

Re:so what? (4, Insightful)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:so what? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591223)

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.

Windows Azure Offers Developers Iron-Clad Lock-in (5, Interesting)

iznogud (162711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590915)

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

Re:Windows Azure Offers Developers Iron-Clad Lock- (3, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591203)

...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.

a whole lot if FUD (3, Insightful)

txoof (553270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590929)

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... (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590955)

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... (5, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591181)

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.

Maintenance is 80% of the cost in a program's life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592535)

And all highly skilled, talented people are high strung and annoying. Especially annoying is their ability to see right through the lies.

A race horse will kill you too, if you don't watch out, but kiddie ponies don't win races.

I can't stand my salesmen, frickin' arrogant, boastful, testosterone charged egomaniacs, but I know what they need, and they know what I want, and they make me a pile of money. Now get the fuck out there and sell something!

But do I want some docile, house-broken sheep? No way!

Talent is talent. Learn to deal with egos. There are stars and there are dogs. We are not all equal. The best can do 10 times what the average can do, for nearly the same pay! You send Captain Kirk to go where no man has gone before, not some pussy whipped momma's boy.

Poodles are cute, but do you really want them guarding your meth lab? No! You want Bikers, German Shepherds and a belt feed fifty. Business is War! You should be a little scared when the Special Forces are in the house.

If you want a friend, buy a dog. If you want to be worshiped, start a cult. If you want to get laid, in 50 different ways, in 50 different days, get a guitar and learn how to play. If you want some satisfaction, you need to take some action. The race goes to the swift and the strong. Take no prisoners. Full speed ahead! Dam the torpedoes!

Talent never has been, and never will be easy to deal with. Tell them what you want, give them what they need, and stop micro-managing them. Cover their ass, and they will cover yours.

Develop a thick skin. And get the fuck out of their way. When they talk to you, listen. Be thankful they talk to you. When they stop talking, they are busy looking for another job. Talent can always find another job.

If they are lacking some political skills and say something harsh, or are just a little too blunt, just let it roll over. They will quickly realize their mistake. Give them a legitimate answer. And once you handle a few of their harsh barbs, and don't run away crying, they will begin to trust you. Climb the informal power structure.

Re:Well... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591245)

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:Well... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591665)

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 far ahead - they'll take the easy way which Microsoft puts front and center in their documentation and certification classes. Low level programming may not even be _possible_ in Azure; you may only get the high level "easy" APIs which prevent abstraction for portability. Then your only option is to write emulation libraries for other platforms which can run the same designs as Azure, assuming that patents and terms of service agreements don't disallow it.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591811)

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.

(Posting AC because I've moderated in this thread.)

Yes, thank you, that's exactly right. Every so often on Slashdot, an article or discussion will be about the dismal state of computer science education. Really good comp sci instructors (and I've been lucky enough to have a good number of them) will teach based on platform-neutral code focused on abstract computational processes. Sadly, many others just teach programming like a trade skill—just use your expensive IDE to get the program working on the Operating System That Everyone Has and forget the abstract concepts if they're harder than that.

That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (3, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590973)

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'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

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.

Re:That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591089)

please tell me what you use as an open source alternative to reporting services. it has to have the ability to design reports in the same manner and easily deploy them to a webservice where the user can xport them into various formats.

Re:That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (0, Redundant)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591265)

We built an application framework with a reporting module in it. Web service support was part of the specs from the beginning, it would be easy enough to add reporting requirements to that if we had a reason to do it. I don't understand the problem. You're locked into MS and SQL Server by SQL Reports? Or Crystal Reports? Or are you talking about exporting to desktop apps in Access or Excel? Neither one of those run on Ubuntu, so we don't have to worry about supporting them internally. We can spool off data to partners with web services, web page or csv, whatever they want. If they want some fancy report with charts and graphs in a portable format like a pdf file...we could figure out if someone wants to pay for the time. Otherwise we'll give them the data and they can write their own damn reports.

You'd be amazed how often I hear that. How do you do this or that? Then list off some...thing...MS wraps into their products with some cartoon wizard that some hack in accounting thinks makes him a haX04. How are you going to support that? Well, we won't. I'm not going to be locked into MSFT's way of doing things by bullshit like that. If it's that important to your company to support every bundled wizard that comes with MS, then shell out the money and shut your pie hole. Otherwise, we'll figure out a way to get the job far more efficiently for a fraction of the cost and while you're still at the office trying to figure out how to change the labels on your graph, we'll be at the bar having a couple after work and trying to flirt with the waitress who also dances at one of the local gentlemen's clubs on the weekend.

See ya Monday.

Re:That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591481)

so what your saying is there isn't any OSS package that can design graphs and reports via a gui, then allow dynamic generation of those graphs and reports via a website?

that sir, is why MS rule the business world. while your staying back reinventing the wheel with your custom web framework, i've already completed those reports for my boss and subscribed him to them so he gets them automaticly.

custom software is always more expensive than the MS alternative as well. just as you said "as long as someone wants to pay for the time".

Re:That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591687)

Wow, a troll circlejerk. Get a room you two

If you really need < package > (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592307)

Slashdot has a sister site [] where people various open source products are presented, rated, provided and supported.

This search for "reporting" [] should get you started. Apparently the JasperReports reporting engine is stable and well though of, and iReports is a popular interface to it. But I haven't tried them.

Good luck.

Followup (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592337)

Apparently pentaho [] is even more slick.

Hey, that's an interesting package. I wasn't interested in reporting before, but this looks nice. Thanks for sparking my interest in the field.

Re:That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (0, Redundant)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591489)

I keep hearing stuff like this. It must be nice to live in a world where you can dictate the platform to your customers. You say you are supplying their mission-critical application for Linux and they just (a) get another machine, (b) convert all their other stuff to Linux, or (c) tell theor other vendors to convert everything over to Linux.

Us, we get to work in a different (perhaps more familiar) world. We do not supply the application that completely rules how people do their jobs. Instead, it is a much smaller application that they just use in conjunction with 10-20 other applications. Now things being as they are, these other applications require Windows.

Sure, it would be great fun to be able to dictate to customers what platform they should run our applications on. But they are the ones with the money and they get to choose. If our stuff doesn't work they way they want it to, they will choose a different vendor that does in fact supply Windows applications.

And no, I haven't seen much in the way of lock in, other than customers needing things to work together. I have seen lots of development organizations suffering greatly from trying to follow Microsoft's bleeding edge. If you have tried to follow COM, ATL, DCOM, DCOM+, .Net (3.5 generations of it) and whatever else is coming along you have probably been suffering greatly. If every new language, framework or tool is something you have to try out in a product you have been suffering. There is another way to get along with Microsoft other than following their fads. Because for the most part all they are is fads which come and go.

Re:That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592517)

I keep hearing stuff like this. It must be nice to live in a world where you can dictate the platform to your customers. You say you are supplying their mission-critical application for Linux and they just (a) get another machine, (b) convert all their other stuff to Linux, or (c) tell theor other vendors to convert everything over to Linux.

That does not seem to stop vendors from attempting to sell me crap with "just install it on a Windows server" or "just use IE". They usually get a nice warm "f*ck off", because my entire team runs Linux or MacOS X on the desk and all of our server applications run on Linux or Solaris. Hell, i've even had one vendor lie on an tender response by saying they had Solaris support for their software and it worked great in Firefox. Turns out, their server side only runs on Windows and requires IE6. It's a real pity that in my industry we all talk and a single bad experience with one customer can cause a whole world of pain for a vendor when trying to sell their crap through out the rest of the country.

Re:That's the very reason we abandoned Windows (1)

johanatan (1159309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592101)

Mod parent up.

Ms is better at legacy support than anyone (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#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).

Re:Ms is better at legacy support than anyone (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591507)

Dude, did you just try to defend Microsoft on Slashdot? Tilting at windmills, but I applaud your effort.

I was going to post to ask people for examples of APIs that broke from .NET 1.1 to 2.0, 2.0 to 3.0 and 3.0 to 3.5... The list is extremely small and I can only think of one from version 1.1 to 2.0 that was in the System.Data namespace and a method got removed.

They do have a point about lock-in with Microsoft's cloud environment, but don't you have that everywhere? Amazon, Google Apps, none of them are interoperable or interchangeable right now, right?

Re:Ms is better at legacy support than anyone (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592143)

don't worry i get called a troll all the time for it. usually because i point out something that MS is good at that OSS is shit at, and the truth stings ego's like a motherf*cker.

Re:Ms is better at legacy support than anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592623)

this is bullcrap. MS is better than ANYONE at providing legacy support for old platforms. look at how long win32 stuck around?

And win16. I have a very old copy of Aldus Photostyler (on 3 floppies), and it still works great for image editing.

likely developers won't be forced forward (2, Interesting)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Just the opposite of what MS does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591201)

MS has always put compatibility with legacy APIs first. Even when it means a bolted-together architecture. With old, obsolete, and undocumented API calls being preserved just because some legacy app might call them.

In fact, if Azure actually did the opposite of what this article with no details claims, I'm sure we'd see another Slashdot article slamming MS for not breaking an old API to give us a nice architecture.

Is this any different than Gooogle App Engine? (3, Interesting)

abh (22332) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591283)

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?

They finally found a way to (0, Offtopic)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591337) Visual Basic 6 from your cold, dead fingers.

Exactly like OS X. (5, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591345)

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.

Apple and Microsoft are like peas in a pod (2, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591727)

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 [] 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 old 68K and PowerPC AmigaDOS/Workbench 1.X and 2.X programs under it without too many problems, and even gave legacy rights to a group to create an open source version of AmigaOS 3.1 called AROS [] Amiga Research OS that can run on i386 and PowerPC systems and have built in emulation for 68K Amiga code based on UAE with their own version of Kickstart in AROS with backwards compatibility.

Amiga got it right, Microsoft and Apple didn't, for solving Legacy Software problems.

Re:Exactly like OS X. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592267)

Why would MS bother to virtualize older OSes? The system they've got now works well enough already. WoW (Windows on Windows). Compatability layers implemented as subsystems independent of, and running parallel to the main subsystem. It's how Vista runs 32 and 16-bit applications, and it's how XP runs 16-bit apps without DOS.

It's already there, it's seamless, invisible to the end user (just run the executable) and most importantly, it works. Why change it? Fun part is removing the unnecessary subsystems is just a case of nuking a few DLLs.

upgrades = good (0)

davek (18465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591475)

Kudos to microsoft for forcing people onto an upgrade path. Nearly all of my headaches in support are from clients running 10-year-old software who refuse to upgrade, and then complain that they still have bugs. I would love to tell my boss that these delinquent clients will be cut off, not only because we say so, but because our software overlords dictate that it must be done.

Disbelief? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591605)

I can't believe the disbelief people are showing towards this direction.

The framework is just another implementation of .NET, with usage tracking, and auditing for billing purposes.

In the future, Microsoft will host your applications,and you will pay a "small monthly fee" for basic usage and storage. You will also pay "micro payments" for CPU utilization, and pay-per-use applications.

Don't believe it will work? It works for cellphones. Cellphones are a "necessity" and people will pay whatever the prevailing rate is without question.

Say good bye to the "personal" computer, and hello to your "computing appliance" that you will rent for a "small monthly fee".

I'd stop worrying about "open source" too, since only "approved" clients will be allowed on the "community network", all available for a "small monthly fee".

It's those pesky developers, network owners, content owners, etc who all want some compensation.

Get ready to enjoy the computing again, for a "small monthly fee".

Windows Legacy Programs (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591693)

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 scratch rather than try to convert code from VB 6.0 to VB.Net, but they didn't believe me. Then after they fired me for being sick on the job they found out I was right as they ran into a lot of issues and bugs with Visual BASIC.Net as I told them on my reports of it.

Might as well screw Microsoft as Microsoft has screwed developers at least three times now. Then screw Microsoft by adopting Python, Java, Ruby, Perl, Free Pascal, Delphi, or some other competing platform to Visual Studio and Cloud Windows Azure.

I would really like to see Linux or BSD Unix develop their own cloud computing that runs from the web to counter what Microsoft is doing.

I got a theory that using Novell Mono [] would be a gateway language for Windows developers to switch to, before switching to something else and develop VB.Net code in Mono for Linux, BSD Unix, Solaris, Mac OSX, etc, and leave Microsoft altogether and screw them for screwing developers too many times.

So here's the thing... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591701)

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 of this will nearly all be doing it for those reasons rather than there being any actual benefit to end-users, or even if there are disadvanteages to end-users.

Fuck cloud computing (0, Redundant)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591819)

Move my computing to some insecure, long-latency remote location that I lose access to when my ISP decides to have down time? I'm already well-connected (IM, IRC, news through the Internet, system software updates, inter-operating with other human beings far away via the Internet, etc); why in the hell would I suddenly want to find out I can't edit a report or write program code because my ISP's end-point router has decided to route my packets to itself for the moment and I can't reach the cloud?

Ubuntu please.

As if Google, Amazon, & Salesforce won't lock- (2)

healyje (920021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591835)

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...

Less locked-in than poster suggests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25592187)

The lock-in mentioned by the poster is not nearly what he makes it seem. Microsoft is making efforts to support non-MS software platforms (they specifically mentioned PHP).

Also, you c

MS finally competing on an equal footing (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 5 years ago | (#25592427)

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 Azure is no different than the jump to, say, django on Amazon's cloud service. Or IBM's or whatever. So when it comes to cloud computing, MS has to compete like any new service. This is a good thing. Of course they are trying to apply their standard business techniques to it (lock-in, etc), but that's likely to fail as the other alternatives are just as capable without the lock-in. It will be fascinating to see how MS does when it is forced to actually compete with strong competitors and capable and entrenched existing systems. Unless they can find a way to strongly tie into their win32 platform (say some kind of MS Office/Sharepoint integration that is the cat's pajamas, or some kind of integration with IE for the client side), I don't think they can honestly remember how to compete here. Should be interesting, especially as PHBs have wisened up a bit over the years.

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