A quick update from the press/analyst room at PDC 2008, after Ray Ozzie’s keynote this morning – my $.02 follows below
Dubbed Windows Azure, it's less a replacement for the operating system that runs on one's own PC than it is an alternative for developers, intended to let them write programs that live inside Microsoft's data centers as opposed to on the servers of a given business.
"It's a transformation of our software and a transformation of our strategy," said Ray Ozzie, a computing industry pioneer who now serves as Microsoft's chief software architect. (For a play-by-play account of Ozzie's speech, see "PDC 2008: Windows Azure live blog.")
1. This morning’s keynote was focused on explaining how Windows Azure constitutes a new platform – many parts are familiar, some going back many years, but ultimately it should indeed be considered a new and complementary (and also in many ways complimentary, for the immediate future – i.e., free for developers to explore) platform.
2. A lot of people in the audience, and many in the press/analyst room here, seemed to be looking for something more dramatic/disruptive/etc.
3. The keynote sessions tomorrow morning and later in the week (I’ve been pre-briefed on some of the topics, but am under a nondisclosure agreement until tomorrow…) will be useful, in terms of helping people understand what can be done on the Azure platform – and with the broader “software + services” strategy.
More impressions to follow over the next couple days…