Microsoft Cloud Services website is live

MICROSOFT CEO Steve Ballmer discusses on Thursday, March 4, at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST, what’s ahead for computing, with a focus on how cloud computing will change the way people and businesses use technology.

Ballmer is expected to discuss among others the following issues: privacy, security and transparency in as far as cloud computing for consumers, businesses and government is concerned.

Steve Ballmer
Image from Microsoft

Is there a Microsoft Cloud Services feature to be unveiled? Hopefully.

For those interested, we will post an excerpt and/or photos and video highlights of the event. Just check back this page for updates.

Update: Watch the live webcast at starting March 4 at 10 a.m. PST.

Update 3/5/2010 5:12 a.m. MNL time:

Microsoft Cloud Services website is live. Click here to access Microsoft Cloud Services

Ballmer on the Cloud: We’re All In, watch the video:

What is Microsoft Cloud?
  • The cloud creates opportunities and responsibilities. "For years in the pre-cloud era I spent my time meeting with software developers who had a brilliant idea and said we have written an application and we have two customers right here in Dubuque. Can you help us find customers in Des Moines and Seattle?" Ballmer said. "You think about infrastructure that will now support a wide class of creators." He also spoke about the need for privacy and security.
  • The cloud learns and helps you learn. To illustrate it, Microsoft did a demonstration of Bing Maps, which incorporates user data, photos and information such as hyperlocal news and mashes it up on a map. A zoom on a North Seattle neighborhood pulled up a blog report that a taco truck had a fire, for example.
  • The cloud enhances your social and personal interactions. "I think we will have succeeded with cloud the day we agree that virtual interaction in the cloud is as good as being here," he said. Microsoft also did a demo of Xbox Live where the Xbox avatars of Ballmer, Emmert and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates sat in a living room and talked trash while watching television. While the service is not yet available, it shows how Microsoft wants to position Xbox as a social-network television hub.
  • The cloud wants smarter devices. "PCs don't look like PCs five years ago, and the cloud has a lot to do with it," Ballmer said. "Phones don't look like phones five years ago." Microsoft, which has been trailing Apple's developments with iPhone and Google's Android, recently announced a redesign of Windows Mobile, renaming it Windows Phone 7 Series. The new phones will start selling before the end of the year, but are not yet available.
  • The cloud drives server advances and vice versa. Microsoft brought a "cloud in a box" to the UW campus — a shipping container filled with 10,000 servers. What many companies promise with the cloud is that companies will no longer have to manage their own servers. Microsoft,, Amazon and Google will manage and run servers. "There shouldn't be people babysitting all these machines," Ballmer said.
  • The cloud fuels Microsoft and vice versa. "About 75 percent of our folks are doing entirely cloud based or entirely cloud inspired," Ballmer said. "A year from now that will be 90 percent." This full embrace of the term cloud computing is new for Microsoft. Up until now Microsoft was still pushing the term "software as a service" to describe cloud software.
Sourced from The Seattle Times: Steve Ballmer speech at UW: "We're all in" for cloud computing