back to article Microsoft's software vision chief embraces future horror

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief software architect, is optimistic about Microsoft's future despite the challenge to PC software from cloud services and netbooks. Speaking at the Churchill Club in Palo Alto, California, on Thursday, Ozzie said we'll continue to need an operating system to abstract the hardware in servers, PCs, and …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Howard Hanek

    Captain Ahab Says

    and Captain Ahab says that Whale Oil will continue it's dominance of the lighting industry....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    A few things that might (or might not) be relevent.

    Cloud computing will never take off for home users for a few reasons:

    - The Government is failing on it's target to get 2Mbps broadband to the majority of people in the UK.

    -Just imagine the DRM nightmare. Any file that even smells like it came from Limewire will cause them to go beserk. Hard to hide since all your files are on the cloud so they know exactly what little copyright laws your breaking. I would estimate that 99% of teens in the UK are now criminal masterminds because of this.

    -If a virus got into the main server then it will instantly be downloaded to millions of PCs via the cloud.

    -Similarly, if one person hacked a cloud administrive (I know it's spelt wrong, I think) account then they would have access to millions of people's files won't they?

    - I would imagine (but is possibly completely wrong) that you would need to pay a monthly/ yearly subsciption for this sort of thing. If the public hate one thing, it's subscription fees (unless it's for Sky+ of course).

    Halo Bill because angels live on clouds. Don't they?

  3. Christian Berger

    @howard hanek

    That's a great comparision. Althought you could certainly still operate your lamps with Whale Oil, nobody does it because it's expensive and widely regarded as "wrong". Whale Oil does not offer any advantage over other kinds of fuel just like Windows does not offer any advantage over other kinds of OSes.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Computers will become more like

    designer devices, the applications will get simpler to use to the point where there will be a lot of market segmentation based on interface.

    And mesh networking will take off. Development has got more complex over time, MS will have more competition which is good as they are only really starting to innovate now, before they just stole now it looks like they realise they actually have to come up with ideas of their own and make them a reality.

    OpenSource will continue its march, but it will just be for the initiated not the consumer, and of course all the cool stuff will be there but don't expect the man in the street to get it.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    lightbulb joke

    Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: Who cares. Studies indicate that consumers are not really interested in light: darkness is what they want, darkness is what we'll provide them, at a reasonable cost.

  6. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Tempest Storm Clouds ........for Crack Red Team Players

    "Cloud computing will never take off for home users for a few reasons:" ..... By Anonymous Coward Posted Saturday 6th June 2009 00:45 GMT


    What you have to also realise is that Clouds are Virtual Operating Systems with Stealthy Applications Programming. And just Perfect for those Global Operating Devices into New World Order Strategic Play ........ for it is an inescapable fact that with Binary Manipulation of Digital CodeXXXX and ITs Networks InterNetworking Hosting of QuITe Simple Plaintext Human Readable Virtual Machine Code, can any BIg Picture and Systemic Catastrophic Flaw be Used and Abused with a Smarter Impunity delivering Universal Immunities, which is Resolved to Result in Spectacular Executive Administrative Meltdowns.

  7. Jimbo

    ARM netbook

    "Ozzie also justified Microsoft's decision not to put Windows on ARM"

    not that I love to say that, but Windows CE runs on ARM (NVIDIA was doing demo few days ago) just fine ...

  8. Rick Giles

    Aren't we forgetting something?

    I can't trust M$ to secure their OS on a desktop PC. What makes me think they can protect a cloud with all my info? I think not.

  9. Shades

    No sh*t Sherlock!

    "On netbooks, Ozzie reckoned machines are being purchased as inexpensive laptops - meaning opportunity for Windows. That means, PCs not just for web browsing but with people trying to download software, run media, and use applications like Microsoft's Office."

    For his next trick, Ozzie will be declaring MP3 players will be used to play MP3s!

  10. Jimbo


    "I can't trust M$ to secure their OS on a desktop PC. What makes me think they can protect a cloud with all my info? I think not."

    Can I ask who do you actually trust (please don't say Apple)

    btw it's very original to use $

  11. pctechxp

    I'm happy to pay a sub for

    My broadband and to have my mail hosted in a secure data centre so that I can use it with my domain name and have access to a secure webmail interface for checking it at work but my OS, applications and legally acquired music belong on a hard disk in the silver aluminium minitower sitting beside my desk thank you.

  12. Charles Manning


    WinCE is not Windows by a very long way.

    WinCE is just a toy OS that has most of the Windows API.

    The only reason they want x86 is to keep supporting the huge number of existing x86 windows apps. Sure those could run on an emulation layer but that would make it slower.

    Of course all .NET stuff is already virtual machine code so there should be no extra hit for running on ARM and if you're talking clouds then native x86 apps don't really matter.

    The major lock-in for Windows in private PCs is games.

  13. Levente Szileszky
    IT Angle

    @Jimbo RE: Windows CE on ARM

    EVERY Windows Mobile version (formerly known as PocketPC, CE etc) runs on ARM - it it its #1 INTENDED platform.

    However Windows != Windows Mobile hence Ozzie was somewhat right - OTOH it clearly shows he still can't really grasp what's the picture out there...

  14. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    ARM has plenty of software

    Well, outside the Windows world, ARM has plenty of software. It's a full-class port under Debian, and Ubuntu's got support for it now that netbooks are being released with this chip. From what I've read, flash has even been ported to it. The ONLY softwares I know of under Ubuntu that'd need x86 emulation would be 1) Skype, and 2) Googleearth (but I don't think an ARM netbook would have the 3D acceleration to run this anyway.) (Also, wine and qemu would be emulating x86.)

    Microsoft's in a tough spot -- I don't think they've been porting Windows to anything for years, so it's likely code has been written without regards to portability.. it'd be VERY time-consuming and difficult to port 7 to ARM even if they wanted to. (As a few people commented, WinCE really doesn't count.) Windows NT was originally intended for i960 (cancelled..), and ported to MIPS, Alpha, PA-RISC (unreleased), PowerPC, and x86, along with Intergraph Clipper. Alpha was the best-supported port, but by Windows 2000 Windows was x86-only. 64-bit windows was originally to be for Alpha and Itanium but is also x86-64 only.

  15. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    What's with this emulation layer?

    As far as I know all the stuff on ARM processors runs natively on the OS. Oh, Er... that'd be Linux wouldn't it? Or RiscOS, or WindRiver, or Symbian, or ...

    Android anyone?

  16. Jimbo

    to @Levente

    "EVERY Windows Mobile version (formerly known as PocketPC, CE etc"

    Windows CE is not Windows Mobile and they are both alive, there is no "formely known as CE". They have similar history, but they are not the same anymore (though they probably could be or should be). NVIDIA was showing fully functional tegra laptop based on ARM few days ago, it was running Windows CE and it was amazing !!

  17. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Has he really?

    "Ozzie also justified Microsoft's decision not to put Windows on ARM"

    What we want to know is what Sharon, Geezer, Iommi think of this move away from his core talents of necking any pills within crawling reach and shouting abuse at his kids?!

    It's step up from floggin WoW on TV I suppose!

  18. The Pope


    Actually... WinCE is a set of services, components and tools which can be used to build a full OS. Windows Mobile is one such OS that uses the base WinCE "stuff" and builds on it providing a different UI etc.

  19. Wortel

    Old meets new?

    Windows for Dustbins. Plenty of opportunity there!

  20. Stuart Halliday

    He's right Emulation would be required.

    Emulation would be required if Windows 7 came out on ARM.

    Nothing would annoy its customers more that if they see a web site with a interesting application and once they buy it and go to use it they find it doesn't run on their Intel PC because of the CPU instruction set.

    It would fracture the software buying market.

    Microsoft would need to put a ARM to Intel emulator in place on PCs and a Intel to ARM emulator in ARM netBooks.

    I used to run a software site selling PC Desktop software that only ran on ARM machines (it used RISC OS) and I'd have numerous idiots who had a Intel PC who'd buy the software.

    So despite having warnings that it was RISC software and won't run on a Windows or Mac system, I still got people trying and moaning when it didn't work.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the ordinary person!

  21. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    Gates Horns

    Hard drives are now massive capacity and physically tiny

    so you can store your data in the device. There are advantages to letting someone else look after your data. One is that you don't have to worry about your computer crashing because your data is available on any computer provided you have your password.

    Well there it is, the disadvantage, your data is aavailable to anyone with the password anywhere in the world.

    Hopefully this is just a fad, however people who have come to computers in the last ten years may only know how to access online data and not their hard drives. Think about this, is it easier to install Open Office from a copy you saved on your hard drive a few weeks ago or is it easier to get it from the Internet? I expect most of us have saved downloads but if we have fast Internet then we generally go online to get a file.

    I had an important email in MS Outlook on the company Exchange server. I went to look it up and it was gone. Now if I had printed it or saved it on C: drive then maybe I would not feel that someone had gone and deleted it. It's possible that the sysadmins had deleted it, how would I know?

    If we trust someone else to look after our data then they can hold us to ransom. Who has the copyright on photos you upload to Flicker? I think it's Google.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course there will be a future ...

    There is no wonder that there will be a future for Windows on Netbooks ... they've strong armed the bloody manufacturers from shipping anything with Linux on it.

    Someone call the European Competition Comissioner PLEASE

  23. James Silver badge

    @Charles Manning

    "The major lock-in for Windows in private PCs is games."

    And Microsoft are doing all they can to get us to migrate those to C# and .Net over the next couple of years.

    Any native apps still around in 10 years time (and I'm being extremely generous here) will be running sandboxed in virtual machines.

  24. John Morris

    MS has its ARM up its arse and its head in the cloud

    I have a lovely ARM NAS device, works like a charm, uptime of around a year serving all my media to wherever I am in the world. Runs Linux. I'm looking forward to a lot of ARM based devices, it's a good chipset.

    I regularly use clouds/grids and have done for years. Never seen anything but Linux on them.

    On lunch from a grid training course today (gotta keep up to date). First question from the teacher was "Is anyone not familiar with a UNIX like system?" Nobody put up their hand.

    OK, so that's rather specific to me and my colleagues, but the point is that grids/cloud are working very well and are very mature already under Linux and development isn't about to stop. MS have a mountain to climb and a lot of *NIX admins to convince who will have strong views about MS.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "But despite this, Microsoft is investing in completely modular data centers to run its planned Azure cloud and to deliver hosted versions of SharePoint and Exchange. Ozzie predicted Microsoft would have data centers in every country around the world to cater to local regulations"

    Looking forward to see this fail completely in the light of financial reality ... How do they expect to compete with Google on docs services, email, calendar etc ... when google is optimizing it to the last drop by writting their code to run on BSDish systems ? On top of that Google funds this with ads only, no users subscription !

    SharePoint and Exchange are immense consumers of CPU/RAM only aimed at people unable to count in SMBs. Trying to deploy it for millions of users forces you to count. A bit.

  26. Don Mitchell

    Challenge of the Netbook

    You mean the netbooks where Windows market share has gone from 10% to 96% in less than a year?

    The real contest for Cloud computing will be EC2 vs. Azure. And by the way, EC2 allows both Windows and Linux services. Google's offering seems much more restricted and inefficient, just allowing people to run scripting.

    The nice thing about Cloud computing is that it will bypass ideological system admins and let people develop and deploy server-side software with enormous freedom. Maybe that is why Richard Stallman has denounced it?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021