Today, Microsoft announced Windows Azure, a “cloud” platform. You won’t run it on your computer, but rather use the internet to access software running on Azure.
Microsoft intends to compete directly with Google, Amazon, and other cloud services. In addition to Exchange, Microsoft plans to offer all its enterprise software as a service. It sounds, in part, like Microsoft intends to take its Live model and expand all its software with Live versions.
I am actually kind of excited about this, if I understand it correctly. If I could use Microsoft’s software without running Windows on my own computer, I probably would. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Google Apps, but somehow, I trust Microsoft more when it comes to business solutions.
I will be eager to see how this project grows, and I think it is a brilliant move for Microsoft, which can surely see that, in the future, many businesses will not be using Windows. Azure is potentially a way to keep customers even as they migrate to Apple- or Linux-based computers.