Cuts Hurt

Monday was a dark day for some Microsoft employees. They must have known it was coming as months ago Steve Ballmer announced the firm would lay off some 5,000 workers, but only immediately hacked 1,400.

Even with that knowledge, it had to be hard for the up to 3,600 others to finally get the news. In discussing yesterday's layoffs, Ballmer said more cuts may be needed if the economy doesn't pick up.

Sales and revenue may be down, but Microsoft remains a highly profitable company and we here at Redmond magazine are bullish on the future of the Microsoft market. Heck, I even stuck my neck out in a cover story explaining why Microsoft will be just fine. Take a peek and tell me where I'm wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Microsoft Seeks Cloud Testers
Interested in cloud computing? Have a few databases you'd love to move out of your datacenter but need proof the cloud will really work? Then a new testing program from Microsoft might be perfect for you.

Project Huron is a "synchronization-enabled cloud data hub" that runs under Azure. The idea is to have the database in the cloud, and have multiple users query and update the data without conflict. While this is old hat with standard databases on a single server, as I understand it, Microsoft is talking about multiple databases synced together via the cloud. That's a bit trickier.

Ozzie on Cloud Nine
"Hey, hey, Ray, Ray, can't off of that cloud!" Now that I've subjected you to the world's worst pun, let me tell you about Ray Ozzie's latest cloud proclamations. In a recent Q&A session, Ray talked about a world where we have three main data devices -- "something the size of a phone, something the size of a PC, and something the size of a TV."

These won't be the silos they are today, but all three devices will be synchronized over the cloud. Heck, if I could just get my phone to work properly with my laptop, I'd be a happy man!

Microsoft is obviously building the cloud infrastructure, but it's also at work adapting key apps. Office, for instance, won't be simply PC-bound in the future, but Office services will be available by phone or other small devices. My advice? Get it to work properly on netbooks first.

Is all this cloud talk just so much fluff or a future you can't wait to experience? Float your thoughts over 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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