Posted by Rolf Harms, Director, Corporate Strategy GroupMichael Yamartino, Manager, Corporate Strategy Group
Information technology is undergoing a seismic shift towards the cloud, a disruption we believe is as game-changing as the transition from mainframes to client/server. This shift will impact every player in the IT world, from service providers and systems architects to developers and end users. We are excited about this transformation and the vast improvements in efficiency, agility and innovation it will bring.
To prepare for the cloud transition, IT leaders who make investments in infrastructure, architectures, and skills have a critical need for a clear vision of where the industry is heading. We believe the best way to form this vision is to understand the underlying economics driving this long-term trend. We’ve done extensive analysis of these economics in Microsoft’s Corporate Strategy Group, leveraging Microsoft’s experience with cloud services like Windows Azure, Office 365, Windows Live, and Bing. We decided to share these insights with our customers, partners and the broader industry by publishing a new whitepaper, “The Economics of the Cloud.”
Our analysis uncovers economies of scale for cloud that are much greater than commonly thought. We believe that large clouds could one day deliver computing power at up to 80% lower cost than small clouds. This is due to the combined effects of three factors: supply-side economies of scale which allow large clouds to purchase and operate infrastructure cheaper; demand-side economies of scale which allow large clouds to run that infrastructure more efficiently by pooling users; and multi-tenancy which allows users to share an application, splitting the cost of managing that application.
Posted by Anthony SalcitoVice President, Worldwide Education
Thirty-five years ago this week, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law, and the U.S. government committed to “ensuring that children with disabilities have opportunities to develop their talents, share their gifts and contribute to their communities.” For more than 20 years, Microsoft has focused on making computers easier to use for individuals disabilities. During that time, we’ve seen many students with disabilities integrated into general classrooms and technology has become an essential part of learning for students of all abilities.
Today, educators are trying new ways of integrating technology into the classroom and looking for ways to help students of all learning styles and abilities. Microsoft’s education mission is to help students and educators throughout the world realize their full potential. We recognize that nearly every classroom has a student who has difficulty seeing the board, concentrating on their homework, or expressing their ideas. Those are some of the reasons that Microsoft builds accessibility features into our products, ensuring that all students have access to the best learning available and that can be enhanced through technology.
I have long believed in the power of technology to make a profound impact in education and I’ve been fortunate enough to see some amazing examples around the world where teachers are truly making magic happen for their students. The examples that often most standout and illustrate the transformative potential of technology are those that use accessibility technology integration to empower and enrich the world of students that otherwise might have had an extremely difficult time communicating, collaborating or socializing with their peers. Early in my career at Microsoft I supported work in hospitals and schools and saw the potential of this work first hand and it has long fueled my passion and recognition of this importance of this work.
Posted by Jacqueline BeauchereDirector, Trustworthy Computing Communications – Privacy & Online Safety As a large technology company with a significant online presence, Microsoft believes it’s our responsibility to help make the Internet a safer place for people, including children, to learn, communicate, play and grow. Of the risks facing children online, cyberbullying is a growing concern for both parents and educators. Today, bullies have capitalized on the availability of much more discreet and efficient tools with which to badger their victims, going beyond the intended uses for which they were designed. Sadly, as we’ve seen in recent news reports, there have been a number of examples where youth who were victimized resorted to taking their own lives.
Posted by Tony HeyCorporate Vice President, Microsoft External Research, a division of Microsoft Research
Technology can do many wonderful things, from making businesses more productive to providing entertainment, but above all, technology can help solve challenges that are critical to society. Providing adequate healthcare to people in developing countries is one such challenge, and it's a challenge Microsoft Research has been engaged in for many years - through sponsorship of studies with partners to develop mobile healthcare solutions that can be applied widely and cost effectively, regardless of economic conditions.
This is a passion Microsoft Research shares with numerous partners and institutions, including such organizations as the Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. It’s why we are serving as a sponsor of the mHealth Summit again this year—and why we are thrilled that our colleague Kristin Tolle, director of Natural User Interactions at Microsoft Research, will be interviewing Bill Gates during a keynote this afternoon.
The 2010 mHealth Summit, being held Nov. 8-10 at the Washington (D.C.) Convention Center, will bring together hundreds of experts focused on exploring the use of mobile technologies to transform health care in the United States and the developing world.
Posted by Paul Cotton
Partner Group Manager
Roughly 10 years ago, a handful of hardware and software vendors met to discuss the concept of Web services interoperability. Outside of e-mail, the internet had yet to be adopted into mainstream use, but the industry recognized its potential as a vehicle for relaying data between different software programs or operating platforms – such as a Windows PC and an IBM mainframe.
This need for the free flow of information across different platforms and programs motivated Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, HP and a handful of other vendors to form the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I). Their goal was to codify the requirements to achieve interoperability, by creating a series of blue prints – or profiles - that developers and engineers could follow whenever they write a software program.