Basically, the key elements:
- They acknowledge the fact that cloud computing is a strategic investment for Microsoft, comparing it to the web in the 1990’s.
- Microsoft is target the traditional three layers of cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS & SaaS) & intend to be a leader in all.
- Windows Azure AppFabric has emerged as a core platform technology in Microsoft’s Cloud vision
- Many teams are involved in Cloud Computing at Microsoft and as a result, the lack of synchronization between the different delivery creates some confusion
As for their recommendations:
- Microsoft should deliver a competitive and complete cloud platform within 2 or 3 years. Gartner estimates the current state of the platform is incomplete & unproven. Early adopters should expect bumpy ride.
- IT Planners should consider Microsoft as a candidate for cloud computing, but again in the short term, the offer isn’t complete.
The paper gives a good overview of the platform as it is today. That alone gives this paper a lot of value, since this information is otherwise quite widespread on Microsoft sites.
I found their recommendation a bit harsh though. Calling Windows Azure unproven is bit extreme given the amount of sites running it today and the fact that Microsoft is slowly moving their assets into it as well.
There is no Gartner curve or quadrant, so I’ll have to rely on my natural verbosity at the next cocktail party!