Reader Feedback: Microsoft and the Cloud
We've written so much about the cloud here recently that we don't even remember which post John was responding to when he sent us an e-mail on Microsoft's cloud efforts. Nevertheless, his thoughts are germane:
"Having worked very closely with Microsoft over the years, I've been becoming more and more frustrated with them and their attitudes to both the customer base and their partners. My background in hosting has seen the evolution of Windows hosting from a nebulous desire and hope of Scott Guthrie's through iterations of 'Solutions' and heavy, and successful, partner involvement on all levels to today's sorry state of affairs where they seem to be paying the partners lip service with vague reseller (actually referral) agreements and the injunction to 'create a new eco system' in support of BPOS / MOS <insert this months acronym here>. The grand statement of 'We're all in' is fine, but unfortunately the reality is that the organization is still very fragmented, and the alignment of products and their metrics is not following this grand scheme."
John, we hear you. Microsoft has made some strides in turning hype into reality in the cloud -- see Azure and the construction of a bunch of data centers -- but it still has a long way to go to get where it needs to be. (Then again, though, so do a lot of vendors.) What bothers us most, though, is what you mention about partners. We really feel as though the winds of change are blowing in the Partner Prog… sorry, Microsoft Partner Network. We believe that Microsoft is going to focus increasingly on large ISVs and systems integrators to the detriment of smaller consultants, VARs and resellers. Already, as you said, the "reseller" agreements for Microsoft's cloud services look more like petty payoffs than like true partner agreements. And Microsoft is not being shy at all about touting its own self-hosted services. So… yeah. We see where you're coming from.
And speaking of where John is coming from, he sent a link to a blog entry of his that is as dead-on a take about Microsoft's consumer-vs.-enterprise conundrum as we've read anywhere. Check it out.
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Posted by Lee Pender on 10/14/2010 at 1:23 PM