Interesting article how IDC sees the whole cloud story. An extract:

The Microsoft of the cloud

Gens showed a slide comparing the software markets over a decade period. In 1997, Microsoft Windows software controlled just 9 percent of the total software market. Today, it's 55 percent. That's because Microsoft encouraged the growth of an ecosystem on its platform. The same could now happen on the cloud.

"Who will be the Microsoft of the cloud?" he asked. "The cloud platform will be the most strategic platform we will see in the next 20 years. Some people call [the cloud platform] 'platform as a service.' These are offerings that help solution and service developers make, manage and sell more services in the cloud. The more developers you attract, the more customers come in. That's the virtual circle."

The full article can be found here.