Microsoft’s recent discussion of mesh computing raises a few questions. For some details on what it is, go to the LiveMesh pages. The company has rattled about a lot of ‘Live” initatives, but this may be the first one with legs. Now, we are going to drop the mesh term immediately, and start to use ‘Cloud’ to describe whatever it is Ray Ozzie has been concocting – it is a more widely used term. Just think of it as a Grid on steroids, or rather a subset of a Grid on steroids.
Now the questions.
Who will the Microsoft Cloud effect? Seems like consumers are the target. It appears for now a way to connect one’s different electronic files and such. It may sneak into the enterprise, of course, just like Lotus 1-2-3 did.
Will it work? The answer there is yes, it will work about as well as most software; meaning, it will work much of the time, but you will come to curse it on occasion. Does IT have higher standards than individuals do on the question ‘does it work?’ – well, that is an open question.
Who is the competition? Basically, it is the nemesis called Google. Google has its own Cloud computing solution a’brewing, and Microsoft will have to meet the Valley Search Wizards of Googledom on that plain of battle because…well, because that’s what they are supposed to do. This is not mano on mano, no. It is geek-o on geek-o.
Of course, a wild card in the Cloud race is Yahoo. As you may recall, Microsoft is courting Yahoo with all the ardor of a CPA romancing a distant society deb. It is hard to guess how that will play out, but there is much about Yahoo that Microsoft will have to come to grips with. Yahoo has its own Cloud computing initiative – it has a lot of computers sitting around down on the farm, you know – which, like a lot of things at Yahoo, does not exactly work the same way as the Microsoft cloud alternative. As Blogster Par Excellance Mary Jo Foley points out, meshing these two platforms could be a real mess. Well put, Foley!