Microsoft has unveiled its ‘game changing’ new initiative, which not only has the potential to transform the nature of operating systems, but the whole PC industry as well.
The software, called Azure, facilitates the transition from information storage on a personal hard drive, to a network of servers across the globe. This ‘cloud’ makes personal photos, videos and documents accessible from anywhere on the planet.
The technology already exists, and reduces the need for huge hard drives of stored data, or even a personal computer since all documents could be accessed and edited from any internet enabled machine. However with the full backing of such an influential player as Microsoft behind it, cloud technology looks much more likely to transform the IT landscape as we know it.
The move follows similar online-only software pushes from other tech firms, most notably search giant Google.
Details and initial code of Azure was released at Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles yesterday, with the intention being that the developers privy to it will develop a string of applications entirely housed within the internet.
The move represents a genuine change in strategy for Microsoft – which is built on the more traditional personal hard drive based software. However Azure will be launched alongside Windows 7 in a couple of years, proving the firm is expanding rather than replacing its core product.
“Today marks a turning point for Microsoft and the development community,” said Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect. “We have introduced a game-changing set of technologies that will bring new opportunities to Web developers and business developers alike. The Azure Services Platform, built from the ground up to be consistent with Microsoft’s commitment to openness and interoperability, promises to transform the way businesses operate and how consumers access their information and experience the Web.
“Most important, it gives our customers the power of choice to deploy applications in cloud-based Internet services or through on-premises servers, or to combine them in any way that makes the most sense for the needs of their business.”