Microsoft Collaboration, CTO viewpoint, and New York

The blog for Office 365, Power Apps, Flow, SharePoint, cloud, ….. plus a little NYC

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Will SaaS Kill the SharePoint Server Team?

This is an article I wrote for Redmond Magazine.  Why SharePoint professionals need to embrace SharePoint’s new API model of development and deployment.

SharePoint is often touted as the Swiss Army knife of enterprise collaboration and productivity. But like most blades on a Swiss Army knife, each separate tool isn’t always that sharp or practical as the user would like them to be. For that reason, I predict that SharePoint developers, like other developers, will become mostly APIs or API plumbers.

See full article- Part I

 

Down To Business: Rumble In The Cloud: Salesforce Vs. Microsoft

“Two distinct cultures, two different commercial priorities, but a similar message: Amid the economic downturn, the time is now for IT organizations to consider moving their IT resources into the cloud.” Oh really??

From Information Week

I like th quote:

“Microsoft has sold more than a half-million seats of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Communications Online, Elop says, and more than 10,000 customers have signed up for trial versions of the Exchange and SharePoint offerings. Microsoft should have a $1 billion cloud computing business within 24 months. Microsoft may arrive in the cloud exhausted, but it will arrive in force very soon.”

Glad to see Microsoft slowly move away from their cash cow Office product for there revenue.

Microsoft to battle in the clouds

BBC – Microsoft has unveiled a cloud computing service, in which data and applications will not be stored on individuals’ computers. The new platform, dubbed Windows Azure, was announced at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.
The platform was described by Microsoft’s chief software architect Ray Ozzie as “Windows for the cloud”.

The framework will be offered alongside the next Windows release, Windows 7.

In true Microsoft style, MS is a bit of a late comer in this market space, behind Google and Amazon…I hope it doesn’t take 3 attempts to get the product fully baked.

These are some cloud based applications

Apple Mobile Me
This soon-to-be-launched subscription service which will synchronise e-mails, photos and contacts between multiple devices. Your desktop, laptop and mobile device will stay in sync so long as they have access to Apple’s servers in the cloud.

Google Docs
Google Docs has an intuitive interface and consists of applications normally associated with the desktop – a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation designer. Documents can be saved to the cloud or to your own machine. Multiple users can work on the same document from different computers with changes taking effect almost instantly.

Adobe Acrobat
This attractive online word processor has cloud storage space for your documents. It also includes collaboration tools and an online PDF converter. It is currently in beta testing but free to join.

Jooce
Jooce is a flash based desktop environment aimed at users of internet cafes. Dragging a file onto the desktop actually uploads it to the cloud giving you easy access from any internet-enabled PC.
Network.com
Blender 3D
Sun’s data centres are available for hire by the hour to power on-demand cloud services. Used mainly for processing scientific data, the servers can also be used for rendering animations via the open source Blender 3D software on the desktop.

Evernote
Use your phone to take a snapshot of anything you need to remember then upload it to Evernote’s servers in the cloud. Any text in the images is scanned and indexed to create a searchable database. It is currently in private beta testing.

Live Search
Microsoft’s search engine for mobile phones makes heavy use of cloud processing to bring a rich experience to searching on handheld devices.

Twitterfone
This service uses speech recognition in the cloud to convert voice messages into “tweets” on the social network Twitter. Currently in beta testing, you will need to join the queue for an invitation to join.

Blist
A database application with an attractive interface, how-to videos and innovative drag and drop design. Once created, your database can be shared with other users of the site.

Picnik
This is photo editing in the cloud. Upload images from your local machine or import them from another site such as Flickr or Facebook. The site’s colourful buttons mask powerful photo retouching tools. It is also possible to add text, shapes or a frame to your creation.

Adobe Photoshop Express
Another photo editor which makes good use of the cloud to store your pics. Tools for editing photographs will be familiar to users of Adobe’s industry standard Photoshop image editor. Once the masterpiece is complete, you can add it to the site’s gallery for all to admire.

G.ho.st
G.ho.st (type this directly into your browser address bar, no www needed) stands for Global Hosted Operating System and is a flash-based virtual operating system. The web desktop looks and feels like a PC desktop interface, but it is accessible anywhere. It offers 5GB of free storage and 3GB for e-mail, and web and office applications (Zoho) built-in.

Ballmer hails cloud computing

Last week Ballmer has told Microsoft partners not to fear a future where software is delivered as a service, even though some will end up as road kill in the migration online….

The register.co.uk

“The chief executive told a worldwide partner conference in Houston, Texas that Microsoft can’t give competitors the edge in cloud services. He said business models and software architectures must change for scale and availability, ads serving and service subscriptions.”

Cloud computing is definitely a trend- Salesforce.com, Basecamp, etc, but I think it’ll take another 2 years for the tipping point to occur, as there are adoption fears:

Security: Many IT executives make decisions based on the perceived security risk instead of the real security risk. There is a fear of loss of control for SaaS deployments based on an assumption that if you cannot control something it must be unsecured. The IT will have to get used to the idea of software being delivered outside from a firewall that gets meshed up with on-premise software before it reaches the end user. The intranet, extranet, DMZ, and the internet boundaries have started to blur and this indeed imposes some serious security challenges such as relying on a cloud vendor for the physical and logical security of the data and authenticating users across firewalls.

If you have ever tried to connect to certain file sharing applications or on line games, you would know that it requires punching holes into the firewall, something I would only recommend for the fire hardened end user.

Latency: Perceived perception I agree. To open a file you have to connect to some external server in the desert in Texas, instead of the server down the corridor in the forbidden part of the building –The server room.

SLA: Recent Amazon EC2 meltdown and RIM’s network outage says it all, that even the best of players don’t always have their act together.