So, in the backend of Microsoft R&D, are there people beavering away at versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc, that are purely web based? Or, is it always going to be this hybrid?
What does it mean to be purely Web based? Do we want them to be as only as powerful as 'runs in a browser'? No. We want software that is more powerful than runs in a browser. Does that mean we will not have some neat stuff that does run in the browser? No.
We think you'll actually want the full power of Word, Excel and PowerPoint - and you'll want to be able to get that simply. But, if you just happen to be in an Internet cafe kiosk and you want to do some light editing, perhaps we need to have a way to support you in that as well, inside the browser. And for today, that's going to have to be all the detail I share. Otherwise, we have no drum roll announcement coming up here in a month!
There's a lot of different views on what the 'cloud' is going to look like? Will it be a data center that you have and you own it yourself? Will it belong to Amazon or some other organization? Maybe you could even franchise it and work with rivals or peers and operate a data center in that way. What do you think it will look like? Which slice of the pie will be the biggest?
I think before we are done, the answer is 'Yes'. No, all of those models will need to flourish. I think it would be nuts for me to say that we are going to run all of the world's data centers. I don't think that's practical.
But what we need to do is a build a service that we start running and we have a model for how it can also be implemented and hosted by corporations for themselves, or by other partners.
The service must be a service. If it's not in our data center, if it's in somebody's else's, you'll still want it updated in real time, dynamically. You don't want it to be like today's outsourced model - where the outsourcer winds up locked in, and has to embrace the past more than the future.
So, we need to design 'a service for services', if you will. That's kind of the way we are attacking the challenge.
Now, Version 1 that we will announce this month, you'll think about it as running a Microsoft data center, sort of like the Amazon model. And yet we know and we've talked already with corporations and partners about going beyond it.
That's why the symmetry between the server and the cloud is important. Because if we bring back the cloud features into the server platform, it's also possible for any corporation then to go into instance of its own similar services.