Microsoft's strategy for cloud devices and development of relevant applications: Establish a complete computing architecture of Cloud plus Client based on Windows 7, IE 9.0, and Windows Live
Press release [Monday 21 February 2011]
Estimates by IDC, Gartner, Strategy Analytics, and Wall Street analysts show that the global PC shipment in 2014 would be at least 50% higher than 2010, and 18% of the growth would come from notebooks, compared to only 1% from desktops. According to Jochen Siegl, manager of ODM Business Development, Microsoft, it is obvious that untypical computing devices such as notebooks, netbooks, and smartphones are replacing desktops and becoming mainstream products in the market, but this also helps extend the average product life cycle of PCs.
Accordingly, Microsoft's marketing for Windows 7 - doing without the company's traditional PC operating system positioning - emphasizes the operating system's support for different platforms for tablet PCs, smartphones, and mobile Internet devices as well as ARM, Qualcomm Snapdragon, and Nvidia Tegra 2 processors not based on the x86 Architecture. This is to highlight Windows 7's computing effectiveness in the emerging cloud environment.
"For user-end devices, Windows 7 and Windows Live 2011 provide rich cloud applications such as Messenger, Web Mail, Photo Gallery, Mesh, and Family Safety, which together deliver a complete personalized cloud environment and the convenience of synchronization," said Siegl.
Windows Live Mesh 2011 is a good example. Once the client software is installed on the PC or device to be synchronized, any folder can be designated as a synchronization folder. If any file in the folder has been updated, the system will automatically upload the latest updated file to SkyDrive in the cloud. In the future, when any other device is connected to SkyDrive, the same file in the device will be updated to the latest version. "Windows Live Mesh 2011 enables PC-to-cloud, cloud-to-PC, and PC-to-PC synchronization," said Siegl. "The file sharing setting of Windows Live Mesh 2011 is simple enough to enable any file to be shared with others."
According to a market survey, computer users on the average spend 57% of their time on web browsing. "Web browsing has become the core experience of almost everyone in the Windows environment. As a result, the expectations for web browsing are getting increasingly higher and web contents have evolved from simple texts, pictures and photos, and videos to rich multimedia and animated interactions," said Siegl. "However, it is a pity that we cannot fully enjoy today's wonderful web contents because of limited web browser functions."
In order to strengthen browser functions, Microsoft has implemented significant interface, operating efficiency, security, and visual enhancement for its new IE 9.0. "IE 9.0 has many Windows 7 features integrated to do without many unnecessary command lines," said Siegl. "It focuses on web contents and has many convenient functions such as pinned sites, new tab page, and address bar search that work seamlessly with the applications in Windows."
In terms of business applications, Siegl stressed a great difference between the work patterns now and in the past. "In the past we only worked during office hours at office, but now various mobile devices and cloud applications are rapidly evolving, and it is possible for us to work anytime and anywhere, online or offline, with notebooks, tablet PCs, cell phones, e-readers, iPad, etc," said Siegl. "Moreover, we are able to operate NUI devices by touch control and voice to process texts, graphics, audio, and video." In order to support business applications and new devices such as tablet PCs, Microsoft has added many new functions to Windows 7, and Windows 7 is therefore able to increase productivity, strengthen control and security, and reduce the management cost of switching between devices.
"Windows is a very ideal operating system for client devices in a cloud environment," said Siegl. This is because Windows commands an overwhelmingly high market share and no further learning is required as both consumers in general and IT professionals are very familiar with how to operate the OS. Moreover, Windows supports Mobile Broadband, DriectAccess, and VPN; has an advantage of location awareness; and there is a range of Windows devices for consumers to select based on price or many other considerations. "Windows is the best, irreplaceable operating system to access cloud services," added Siegl.
Microsoft provides all the products and technologies that IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS require. IaaS is supported by Windows Server, Hyper-V, and System Center; PaaS by Windows Azure Platform; and SaaS by Windows Intune and Office 365. "Many IT companies only support one or two of these cloud services. For example, VMWare and Amazon.com only support IaaS and some of PaaS, while Salesforce.com focuses on SaaS and some of PaaS," said Siegl. "Microsoft is one of a few companies that provide complete cloud computing products and services, and is the company that crystallizes IT as a service."
Jochen Siegl, senior technology manager, ODM, Microsoft