Office in the Sky

Google Docs is a low-end set of productivity apps that run on the Web. So what's Microsoft's response? Turn Office into a low-end set of productivity apps that run on the Web!

At PDC, Microsoft announced that Office would run in the cloud, bereft of a few hundred features or so, and be accessible by PCs and even mobile devices such as cell phones.

This might not take all that long to arrive, as Office Live Workspace is already in beta. Pricing isn't set, but it seems that it will run through existing volume licensing programs.

While I like the idea, I want to make sure I can still retrieve all my data, even if my license happens to expire. What would it take for you to put your files in a cloud somewhere? Answers can be blown into dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Readied
I hear a lot of complaints about various forms of Microsoft software. But I can't remember any complaints about Windows Server 2008 (if I'm wrong, e-mail your grievances to dbarney@redmondmag.com).

Windows Server 2008 Release 2 is now in limited beta, the company announced to some 6,000 developers at PDC last week. The new server is 64-bit only, and will include live migration of VMs, an advantage VMware brags about at every opportunity.

SQL's Future Is Cloudy
There was so much news last week at PDC that I'll probably spend the bulk of this week bringing it all to you. We've already talked about Azure, Microsoft's cloud operating system/platform. Besides being a development platform, Azure is also a set of services that will run in the cloud. In this case, Microsoft defines the cloud as one of its own rather massive datacenters.

Running in this Microsoft-seeded cloud will be database services driven by a revamped version of good old SQL Server. Interested folks can get a sneak peak at these services by looking at Microsoft projects hosted on the SQL Services Lab Portal.

Mailbag: Recession Security
Last week, Doug wondered whether tough economic times mean companies should be extra careful to protect their data against inside threats. Barb thinks it's a good idea -- but companies should tread lightly:

It doesn't hurt to walk through security practices and settings. It may be a wake-up call to many of us. But I hope it doesn't create unfounded suspicions against fellow employees -- witch hunts, of sorts -- timely though it may be. We have enough bad feelings about our economic quagmire; we don't need to manufacture more.
-Barb

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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