I was pootling (a UK word) around our Partner Portal today looking for some Office Live stuff and came across a pretty cool page of resources around our Compute Cluster Server product. We have quite a bit of focus here at the moment and a good friend of mine is product manager in the UK so I promised I would help raise awareness around it :)
If you're interested in High Performance Computing CCS is our entrance in to this marketplace. What used to cost $40m now costs $4k and CCS can deliver some serious computational power that has plenty of uses beyond the atypical scientific communities.
The RedmondMag.com article gives a good overview and Mike Pallot is about to start blogging on it.
Finally, there is a cool video on CCS from TechEd
As we leap with unbounded excitement in to another financial year, colloquially called FY07, we have an initiative underway that we're calling Partnering for the Future. As the web is changing business models and software delivery we've been thinking about when (not whether) this will spawn a new type of Microsoft partner - or several types. People are starting to build applications more and more that run on the web (or use the web as their runtime in developer speak) and we're launching services ourselves here like Office Live (coming soon to the UK). In addition, we're thinking about companies who may sell software as an ingredient to their own service such as banks or building societies. I met a great partner in Boston (Tom Keane from Nitrosell) and we discussed this type of stuff. I'm sure there are many other partners both existing and new out there who are ready to play or are already playing in this arena. We're going to be looking to support them in development this year.
It's early days but we're going to have someone in my group dedicated to this area and working closely with our Developer Evangelism group and we'll keep you posted on how things develop as I expect a few community meetings to kick of the discussion. If you're interested in this type of stuff, let me know and I'll ensure you're contacted.
ps - if this doesn't make any sense, perhaps Mr Ozzie, our CTO explained it better at the recent financial analysts meeting? You decide... :)
We just posted a new video to PTS-TV where Dave Sayers from our group interviews Kim Cameron - the renowned identity expert from Microsoft.
Stream (8 mins)Download (18mb)
Spookily related, I got some snail mail from my bank today about the "free" services I get with my account. One of them is Identity Theft Protection. According to them (I'm not going to tell you who I bank with now as I am even more paranoid), 100,000 people are affected by ID Theft in the UK each year. The bank will provide me with £10k of cover any expenses needed to defend and restore my credit status.
Joking aside, it's a pretty cool service to offer and one that shows the changing times. Now if only I could communicate with my bank manager via email...that would be nice.
Perhaps more usefully for me they also provide "Gadget Cover" - nice :)
Some people have waay too much time on their hands to create this kind of viral teaser video - Microsoft's Cesar Menendez says this isn't actually a Zune ad but kudos to whoever created it. Pretty damn cool.
Link to A Possible Zune Ad? (Addict 3D) -- Zune News Site
I can't say I have ever really paid much attention to our Financial Analyst Meetings (FAM) other than to grab the cool slides they always use during them. However, this time around the FAM was *very* interesting. Why? Not one but two things actually - though Zune is the one getting all the attention. Robbie Bach heads up HED and talked about the new music player we're bringing to market. It sounds like it will have a US launch later this year so expect the Xmas rush in the UK to be based on importing as many US models as possible - trust me, eBay and others are going to make a killing here.
Choice quote: "Microsoft will be involved in the hardware, in the software, and the services. We think that's important to produce the number one thing that has to happen in this marketplace, which is a great customer experience. And we have to tie those things together in some ways like we have in the Xbox world, where in the hardware, software, and Xbox Live service we have tied things together in a great experience."
If you want to know more abbot Zune, check out the viral site and register at Coming Zune
For more from Mr BachDownload the PowerPoint presentation (16 MB)Watch the Webcast
Next up was Ray Ozzie. I was very frustrated to have missed Ray at our recent MGX event in Orlando due to bad flight planning by AMEX but I've seen him once before and hopefully will see him again soon. Meantime his FA pitch had plenty to keep me interested with a great insight in to how we and others will build software in the new world of services. I think this is going to have a profound effect on Microsoft's partners and Ray goes much deeper in discussing it than SteveB had chance to at WorldWide Partner Conference. Rather than blather on about it here, this is what Ray chose to talk about and why I think you should go view the Webcast as with all due respect, it's way more interesting than Zune:
"As many of you are already pretty aware, I strongly believe that Internet services will play a very important role for Microsoft moving forward. So I thought I'd devote my entire time with you today on that specific topic. I'll lay out three things. First, why I believe that a fundamental transformational shift toward services is a necessary and appropriate course of action for all technology companies at this juncture. Second, I'll lay out a specific service-centric conceptual model that's intended to help you understand how we're now framing the "what" and the "why" of Microsoft's offerings across all markets. And finally I'll lay out some metrics that I'm using and we're using to measure our progress in services."
Download the PowerPoint presentation (551 KB)Watch the webcast