Satya Nadella to the World: Cloud is Microsoft's Core

Satya Nadella to the World: Cloud is Microsoft's Core

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Xbox is pretty good too, even if it isn't core.

During the Microsoft CEO struggle the question was asked: would Microsoft sell off the Xbox division? One candidate came out and said that, if he were chosen, Xbox would be on the chopping block soon afterward, and we were left wondering what the others thought. Then Satya Nadella, former head of the Cloud computing division, got the top spot, and promptly said that Microsoft still needed to be in the devices business, if only so it could test out its software theories. Now Nadella's issued his first statement to the world about the future of Microsoft and, as you might have guessed, the future is the Cloud.

"We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world," says Nadella. "Our passion is to enable people to thrive in this mobile-first and cloud-first world." As far as Nadella's concerned, Microsoft wants to be the productivity and platform company in this brave new world. Microsoft will "reinvent productivity," help people "organize and accomplish things with ease," empower people; in short, Microsoft will build experiences, and focus less on devices.

Which is not to say that devices aren't cool. Nadella made special mention of Xbox and its place in Microsoft's hierarchy. The Xbox division definitely isn't core to the company, but it's a handy thing to have. "The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming," says Nadella. Microsoft intends to keep its gaming division, so it can grow its online community and provide new services.

How seriously should this be taken? Well, Nadella's statement is ultimately as much public relations as it is a statement of intent, and the whole point of PR is that it says much but informs as little as possible. It's interesting that Nadella goes on to pose the rhetorical question, one of several: "What orthodoxy should I question?"

When Nadella talks about Xbox, it's in terms of the technologies that arise from the division: speech recognition in Skype, camera technology in Kinect for Windows, and so on. The thing is, those are the same technologies that Microsoft's customers have had the most difficulty with, particularly Kinect. Microsoft stuck by the Kinect for months after the Xbox One launch despite customer dislike and lacklustre sales numbers, only to finally decide in June that, yes, it could sell the Xbox One without Kinect. Heck, not having Kinect might even improve the console's processing power, but that didn't stop Yusuf Mehdi dashing to the Kinect's defense.

"We remain deeply committed to the Kinect as a core component of a next-generation console," said Mehdi. "We think that the bio-metric sign-in, voice controls of the menu, ability to say 'record that' and capture a moment of gameplay are all critical to the experience. We have never wavered from that since the launch."

The thing is, of course, that if you question that orthodoxy - that Kinect is critical to the experience - then you question a significant part of the basis for hanging onto the Xbox division. In Nadella's cloud-based, mobile-first world, the Xbox division is only as useful as the technologies it helps Microsoft develop. If those technologies don't work out, the division starts looking like an anomaly on the balance sheet.

All that aside, Nadella's public email to the world probably isn't to be relied on as a firm statement of intent. It's telling as many people as possible what they want to hear, while at the same time trying to sound bold, visionary, and full of hope for the future. It's aimed as much at investors and employees as it is the likes of us. So will Microsoft get rid of Xbox? Probably not, but it doesn't want to be a devices company any more. So long as Xbox fits its "experiences" mantra, great; the minute it stops doing that is when Nadella may start singing a different tune.

Source: Satya Nadella

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Fuck off Microsoft. Nobody likes you.

Cloud is not an experience. It's a dependency. If you accept Microsoft's push for cloud based services, you're basically letting them extort you. There's no reason to store data or use apps that are based entirely on Microsoft's cloud service. We don't live in a memory hungry world. There's plenty of memory to go around and it's cheap. The only thing that cloud services will accomplish is make you dependent on them. You will be able to access your own data and programs that you need only if you pay Microsoft for the service. Don't be fooled by this extortionist rhetoric. These people want to make a cloud based OS. That's how far they're willing to go to achieve their vision in which you don't EVER own anything you buy from them. It is extortion, plain and simple.

I just read that article on that Halo 3 eater egg that went undiscovered for seven years and watched the attached video, and I nearly passed out from the nostalgia of hearing that theme again. I thought to myself "why don't I really want an Xbone or play my 360 anymore?".

Then Microsoft says stuff like this and I go " Oh. Yeah. That's why."

Seems Microsofts head is still stuck in the clouds, and remains blissfully ignorant of all the shit its stepping in.

Its a real shame we let MS take such a strong hold of the PC OS market, it now holds a stranglehold on the PC gaming market and as its also a console manufacturer it has a choke hold on one of its competitors.
I applaud AMD and its Mantle technology, with some luck it can at least free up some of the PC from MS's deliberate sabotaging of the PC gaming ability. I dont hold much hope in an alternative OS like Linux, too much of a change for the majority of the market to make Linux a viable market to put resources into.
I dont really blame MS though, I cant really honestly say I would be better if I had such a hold on a competitor and it was so easy to pull off.

We remain deeply committed to the Kinect as a core component of a next-generation console

I guess the best way to show that was to start selling a Kinect-less XBone and sell Kinects separately at double the price.

...ability to say 'record that' and capture a moment of gameplay are all critical to the experience.

Sony managed to do the same thing with advanced technology known as 'buttons'. Maybe buttons don't count as an 'experience' though.

We have never wavered from that since the launch.

Look at the pigs. See how they fly. If anything Microsoft have done nothing but waver with the Xbone, it's just taken them longer to do this particular U-turn.

Adam Jensen:
Fuck off Microsoft. Nobody likes you.

Cloud is not an experience. It's a dependency. If you accept Microsoft's push for cloud based services, you're basically letting them extort you. There's no reason to store data or use apps that are based entirely on Microsoft's cloud service. We don't live in a memory hungry world. There's plenty of memory to go around and it's cheap. The only thing that cloud services will accomplish is make you dependent on them. You will be able to access your own data and programs that you need only if you pay Microsoft for the service. Don't be fooled by this extortionist rhetoric. These people want to make a cloud based OS. That's how far they're willing to go to achieve their vision in which you don't EVER own anything you buy from them. It is extortion, plain and simple.

Well noted. See Cloud COmputing is nothing more than a retread of the mainframe of the 60's.. The thing is there was a good reason for the mainframe/dumb-terminal set up ... back then computer components were expensive. as in really expensive, so it made more sense. Heck even in the early 90's 4 megs of memory was something to practically took out a bank loan for. Now? COme on... we're trippin' memory and cpu and storage. There is no real reason for the cloud to be used by average computer users because it's actually a less efficient way of doing things.. never mind that you pretty much get locked into paying MS or whatever a subscription fee which is their dream.

Forsome organizations and companies this is actually useful but these same companies and organizations are more apt to have their own inhouse cloud/servers as opposed to using someone else's.

It's not unlike what adobe is doing and failing at.

My concern with gaming and Microsoft is that can effectively ruin two platforms by stupid decision making - XBox and PC. Valve said they are making SteamOS because the future of Windows MS has mapped (currently) gives them no hope for Windows as a gaming platform.

Why bother with cloud storage when flash drives are getting bigger, cheaper and take less effort to use?

There's more than a few rumours that Windows 9 will be the Cloud operating system. I wonder how long it would take Microsoft to backtrack on that idea.

This is the whole problem with Microsoft ... they have been refusing to recognize their true core for over a decade and just waste billions on pie in the sky projects to diversify for it's own sake, not because they have stumbled on a good idea (and when they occasionally have a decent idea, ie. Surface Pro, the fact that they get lost in a sea of shitty ones just screw up the execution, ie. Surface).

Windows and Office are your core Microsoft ... yeah, it can't last forever but that doesn't mean you have to be blind to the simple reality. Maybe without that self imposed blindness they wouldn't have allowed xbox and mobile to hurt their true core (ie. freezing innovation of DirectX until AMD kicked their ass into gear and trying to force everyone into a touch based UI on platforms which don't use touch).

Urgh. "Cloud" is an Amer... actually, no. It's a California and Silicon Valley centric approach. As for the rest of us in the rest of the world with the pitiful rest of the internet's bandwidth, its a hindrance except when explicitly called for as a means of backing stuff up that's not subject to privacy issues (like, Steam's cloud saves).

And that's my opinion wearing my consumer and home user hat. Pop on the corporate tie and you'll get an even more scathing assessment.

Mmmm there's that hip buzzword again the Cloud... Naw sorry Microsoft, I like to actually own and locally keep what I buy and not be dependent on subscription fees and shitty internet connections.

BigTuk:

Forsome organizations and companies this is actually useful but these same companies and organizations are more apt to have their own inhouse cloud/servers as opposed to using someone else's.

It's not unlike what adobe is doing and failing at.

I'm glad someone mentioned Adobe. I'd like to wring their money grubbing necks for what they've done to their Creative Suite, and I haven't updated because of it. I laugh in their face at their failure.

the funny thing is, if they ever get "the cloud"/data centre/"games streaming" model to work well, they will kill off traditional stand alone games consoles.

and the more MS (and others...but especially big corporate MS) push and promote the concept the more other parts of the tech industry will try to make that vision of future a reality...right down to the "network" providers etc, etc

i think it's coming (one way or another) in time but as far as MS and gaming goes it is incredibly naive of them to assume they can maintain control over such a thing once its "come of age"....

for example conversations might potentially go a lil somethin' like this:

MS: ok EA here's the deal; much like before...you give us all your games, we charge you for putting them on our "cloud" data centres/servers and then charge our customers to "buy" them though our "live" service :D

EA: ...and what makes you think we won't get our own data centres and not bother with you ?...you realise we can effectively stream a game to virtually any screen in the developed world now right ? why on earth do you think we need you as a middle man with his hand in everyones pocket ? hell, our Linux based engine builds alone cover the vast majority of the phones and TVs in the world...and quite frankly all your propriety stuff does now is cost us quite a lot money to put our games on a fairly small additional market share of the available screens out there...it's been fun...but we simply do not need your propriety delivery method any more.

MS: ..fuck...wait!...err...we have exclusives!

EA: so do we. best of luck.

snave:
Urgh. "Cloud" is an Amer... actually, no. It's a California and Silicon Valley centric approach. As for the rest of us in the rest of the world with the pitiful rest of the internet's bandwidth, its a hindrance except when explicitly called for as a means of backing stuff up that's not subject to privacy issues (like, Steam's cloud saves).

And that's my opinion wearing my consumer and home user hat. Pop on the corporate tie and you'll get an even more scathing assessment.

its not even an american thing, its for the gimmick crowd, the people who want easy to use backup space, and people who justify it to themselves because "oohhh...but a flash drives such a bother......." ..... even accounting for its use in small file sharing, when it comes to the really big files, our data speeds still hamstring sending any large amount of data smoothly, not just in the rest of the world but everywhere.

but like others have said......storage is cheap these days. why waste transfer time or storage rental when you can have everything local, save an offsite backup, and boom you're good.

then again I may be a bit biased.....5 terabytes of storage space available across two computers and an external....

quick more focused OT: Screw you microsoft, Cloud is not the future and won't be ever if you tech companies don't swing some weight around and improve DRASTICALLY our global network....and I'm not talking about some more satellites or some balloons or drones or whatever people have planned...UPGRADE THE CABLING ALREADY......I'm sure your lawyers can find a way to force the ISP's and actual line owners into action...."your outdated cables are an obstruction to our business, fix it!" or something like that....

Microsoft won't be content until they control all the electronics in our lives. They have their market, pc's, which is the last device that can benefit from cloud computing. Oh but all the kids these days want phones, tablets and wireless cloud stuff so therefore they to shoehorn it into desktops that are completely wired, stationary, and have plenty of processing power. Thats not how it works. Its like if an ice cream company saw that fish suddenly became a popular food and decided it could make more money by replacing their products with fish flavored ice cream. Do not link me to fish flavored ice cream

Karloff:

"We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world," says Nadella. "Our passion is to enable people to thrive in this mobile-first and cloud-first world."

No. Local storage first, and around 5% of users are capable of doing backups that arent a copy on their desktops. Then we have some people that use cloud as a way to trasnfer files between two computers easier than rapidshare. and then we got that 0.1% using it as they want.

008Zulu:
Why bother with cloud storage when flash drives are getting bigger, cheaper and take less effort to use?

There's more than a few rumours that Windows 9 will be the Cloud operating system. I wonder how long it would take Microsoft to backtrack on that idea.

well, to be honest, flash drives is the least reliable medium to trasnfer files. its good enough when data is not important, but backups on clouds is far safer than on flash drives.

snave:
Urgh. "Cloud" is an Amer... actually, no. It's a California and Silicon Valley centric approach. As for the rest of us in the rest of the world with the pitiful rest of the internet's bandwidth, its a hindrance except when explicitly called for as a means of backing stuff up that's not subject to privacy issues (like, Steam's cloud saves).

heh. US has pretty bad internet compared to "The rest of the world". if they can pull it off so can the rest of the world.

Slegiar Dryke:
and people who justify it to themselves because "oohhh...but a flash drives such a bother......." ..... even accounting for its use in small file sharing, when it comes to the really big files, our data speeds still hamstring sending any large amount of data smoothly, not just in the rest of the world but everywhere.

Seriuosly, dont use flash drives as backups they are the second least reliable data storage (after SD cards). External HDDs, Discs, heck Tape backup if you need that much storage, but not flash drives. Cloud storage is more reliable than flash drives and that says a lot.

As far as smoothly data transfer, well, i left my PC on this night, in the morning i learnt it transfered 44 GB because somone needed to use files i host. didnt even load my internet probably.

Mr. Nadella, I need to inform you of a very...very-very...important fact about technology, and it is this:

A cloud system isn't a core ANYTHING. It extends from other hardware that IS core, but it in of itself is not the central medium. You don't build on cloud, but cloud upon other things, and THAT is where your core lies. Your core is PCs. Please try not to confuse these two things.

Strazdas:

Seriuosly, dont use flash drives as backups they are the second least reliable data storage (after SD cards). External HDDs, Discs, heck Tape backup if you need that much storage, but not flash drives. Cloud storage is more reliable than flash drives and that says a lot.

for the record, I wasn't saying flash drives specifically should be used for backup. I was talking more in the sense of easy transfer/access between multiple locations.....though I realize I phrased things poorly in my original post so my apologies there. and frankly I can't agree that cloud storage is better. the data is being transferred to someone elses systems, someone elses hard drives, and besides a network based access...is out of your hands. May seem like peace of mind for some people, but in this world of growing lack of control over our personal data, I'll keep storing as much of my own stuff on personal hard drives that I alone control, before ever relying on a third parties service and lack of 100% trustfulness.

Slegiar Dryke:

Strazdas:

Seriuosly, dont use flash drives as backups they are the second least reliable data storage (after SD cards). External HDDs, Discs, heck Tape backup if you need that much storage, but not flash drives. Cloud storage is more reliable than flash drives and that says a lot.

for the record, I wasn't saying flash drives specifically should be used for backup. I was talking more in the sense of easy transfer/access between multiple locations.....though I realize I phrased things poorly in my original post so my apologies there. and frankly I can't agree that cloud storage is better. the data is being transferred to someone elses systems, someone elses hard drives, and besides a network based access...is out of your hands. May seem like peace of mind for some people, but in this world of growing lack of control over our personal data, I'll keep storing as much of my own stuff on personal hard drives that I alone control, before ever relying on a third parties service and lack of 100% trustfulness.

i was refering to cloud storage being more reliable than flash drives. of course local disc storage is better than cloud storage.

Strazdas:
-snip-

Cloud might be more reliable, but Cloud services are only as useful as the most restrictive Internet service, and there are many countries with restrictive Internet services.

Strazdas:

i was refering to cloud storage being more reliable than flash drives. of course local disc storage is better than cloud storage.

*nods* yeah, that I suppose i can agree with, even if I don't agree with cloud in general. that said I still use 8-16 gig flash drives between my computers just cause its quicker.

honestly I just wish science would get off its butt and create the commercially available Data Crystal already, or some form of storage that A: could hold TONS of data in a relatively small and portable size, and B: solved the problem of data vulnerability/degradation. even magnetic tape or disks are at risk to magnets or wear and tear.

008Zulu:

Cloud might be more reliable, but Cloud services are only as useful as the most restrictive Internet service, and there are many countries with restrictive Internet services.

I agree that sadly there still are locations where such service may not be possible due to availability of internet. However for most of those locations file storage isnt a primary problem.

Slegiar Dryke:

honestly I just wish science would get off its butt and create the commercially available Data Crystal already, or some form of storage that A: could hold TONS of data in a relatively small and portable size, and B: solved the problem of data vulnerability/degradation. even magnetic tape or disks are at risk to magnets or wear and tear.

yeah, it would be nice if we could magically invent anything we want :P

Well, quantum computer now manages to count 2+2 correctly 50% of the time.

Strazdas:

yeah, it would be nice if we could magically invent anything we want :P

Well, quantum computer now manages to count 2+2 correctly 50% of the time.

*shrugs* hey, I didn't say it'd be easy XD heck, so called "holographic" storage is a thing but it still costs thousands......nothing magic about it, just R&D

Slegiar Dryke:

Strazdas:

yeah, it would be nice if we could magically invent anything we want :P

Well, quantum computer now manages to count 2+2 correctly 50% of the time.

*shrugs* hey, I didn't say it'd be easy XD heck, so called "holographic" storage is a thing but it still costs thousands......nothing magic about it, just R&D

Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Strazdas:

Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Oh! right, guess I did forget that phrase ^^;;

BigTuk:

Well noted. See Cloud COmputing is nothing more than a retread of the mainframe of the 60's..

I don't know about that. A properly executed cloud infrastructure has numerous advantages over a mainframe and over baremetal or single-site virtualised servers.

FalloutJack:
Mr. Nadella, I need to inform you of a very...very-very...important fact about technology, and it is this:

A cloud system isn't a core ANYTHING. It extends from other hardware that IS core, but it in of itself is not the central medium. You don't build on cloud, but cloud upon other things, and THAT is where your core lies. Your core is PCs. Please try not to confuse these two things.

I'd not agree with that at all. If you're running a cloud like Openstack with entirely disposable hardware auto-provisioned with something like MaaS then Cloud is your core product. The servers and the storage is a commodity that is used and thrown away, your infrastructure survives total replacement and you offer access to that machinery as a core product, with other products that sit atop it to add value.

ForumSafari:

I'd not agree with that at all. If you're running a cloud like Openstack with entirely disposable hardware auto-provisioned with something like MaaS then Cloud is your core product. The servers and the storage is a commodity that is used and thrown away, your infrastructure survives total replacement and you offer access to that machinery as a core product, with other products that sit atop it to add value.

A bad foundation does not a good cloud make. If that's what it takes to make it 'core', then the core is rotten and useless from bad support.

FalloutJack:
A bad foundation does not a good cloud make. If that's what it takes to make it 'core', then the core is rotten and useless from bad support.

I don't understand what your objection to a well deployed cloud is. Hardware abstracted high availability computing with easily replaced metal is the holy grail of sysadmins. Openstack is an incredibly well made product that basically renders servers down to commodity items, the same as other platforms that compete with it.

To put it in perspective Azure is one of the best cloud deployment environments around, hands down. Nadella is correct that Azure is a core Microsoft product, along side Windows, Office, Windows Server and their various enterprise software offerings like SCCM and WSUS. Not only is it leveraged as a core business product but it provides the foundation for other core products like XBOX Live and Office 365.

 

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