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Microsoft’s big Cloud launch at PDC 2008

Went to a good talk yesterday by Nigel Parker (slides here) of Microsoft New Zealand on Cloud Computing, IE8 and Silverlight. The talk was general scene setting for the Cloud computing paradigm, showcasing of MS’s latest demos of gadgets like Photosynth, Live maps and Mesh, and generally painting Microsoft’s future vision of Cloud computing (=Microsoft, Google, (Amazon?) and, er, no-one else can afford to play on their scale!?!).

Key announcement is that after the Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld teaser ads (Youtube: here and here ), Microsoft are finally launching their Cloud services platform into the wild at PDC in a month’s time. See the post on Gianpaulo’s blog for full details of the Cloud Services Symposium they are holding on day 4, and some sneak preview slides of architectural guidance for Cloud Services Architecture.

Good stuff – about time from Microsoft, too.

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Data property rights: a banking analogy

Further on from previous comments on data portability, I read an interesting post on GigaOM from a while back from Nitin Borwankar: Data Property Rights, Not Portability. Nitin makes some really clear points regarding the rules which *should* govern your data which is placed in a third party’s system (ie YouTube, Facebook), if you took a classic “property” analogy:

1. Data Accessibility
2. Data Visibility
3. Data Removal
4. Data Ownership

(…read the full post for details).

This makes me think of traditional business models surrounding being a trustee for other people’s property: the classic model is banking. With a bank, I place my money in their trust, and am free to withdraw the money according to the agreement I have with them (ie savings / chequeing / fixed term investment account types). Conversely, while they have my money they are free to invest that money for their own profit (again, within certain limits – for example maybe I would specify that arms and tobacco investments are off-limits).

In the same way, for a piece of data or content that I own, I can choose which “trustee” I place my data with and can “withdraw” (ie to another service provider) my data according to the terms of my service agreement. Meanwhile, that trustee is free to try and make profits from my content by driving advertising, social mapping or other revenue from it.

Sounds fair enough to me.

Couple of afterthoughts, however:
– Banking is regulated: the internet will potentially need a regulator to achieve the “liquidity” of content outlined above.
– If these content ownership rules become embedded in internet culture over the next few years, and Facebook, YouTube and all the rest are just trusted, temporary custodians of their customer’s content: what implications does that have for internet company valuations?

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13,000 days down – nearly half way there?

Poignant message from my iGoogle home page today:

(I think I’ve configured my life expectancy at around 80 years old, give or take – ever the pessimist…). Now, what can I do in 16,221 days?

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Cloud services enterprise architecture part 2

We’ve developed the EA further from my last post – adding an output service of software development consulting, and adding the following input services:

Messaging services:
-IM
-SMS
-Tweets (down with the kids!)

Work management services:
– Task management
– Workflow
– Timesheets

Mind mapping services:
– Mind mapping

Business continuity services:
– Backup

Legal services
– Legal advice

Software development services:
– Application platform
– Database platform
– IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
– Test management
– Architecture
– Requirements

Here’s the latest picture: now to find the right providers for each of these services!