Is Microsoft Taking A Risk By Putting All Its Eggs In The Cloud Computing Basket?

Is Microsoft Taking A Risk By Putting All Its Eggs In The Cloud Computing Basket?

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
– William Shedd (1820-1894), American Presbyterian Theologian.

Risk-taking is a requirement for business; unless, a business takes risks, it cannot sustain its competitive advantage, and without a competitive advantage, it will soon fall by the wayside. History is witness to several companies that were once stalwarts in their field but are now limping, or have dropped out of the race completely.

Therefore, Microsoft’s decision to invest in cloud computing, in spite of its dominant presence on computers across the world through its Windows operating system and Office suite, didn’t come as a surprise. In time, its Azure platform became one of the best products in the cloud computing space. However, Microsoft’s recent decision has certainly raised eyebrows.

Last week, Microsoft president Jean-Phillipe Courtois announced that the company will be spending 90% of its research budget on improving cloud computing technologies. Since Microsoft’s annual R&D budget this year is $9.6 billion, this investment translates to a massive $8.6 billion.

While this is certainly a shot in the arm for cloud computing as a whole, I believe that Microsoft may be putting all its proverbial eggs in one basket. While I am all for the massive potential of cloud computing, as my numerous supportive articles will attest, I have always presented a cautionary stance, as with my observations on IBM’s optimistic projections (See: IBM expects to generate $7 billion in cloud computing revenues by 2015: CEO ).

Make no mistake; I believe that cloud computing is the technology of and for the future. But allocating 90% of the research budget on an emerging technology without paying adequate attention to established products in which it has dominance is too big a risk in my book. Especially since that dominance is under threat, with the rise of Firefox and Chrome against the Microsoft Internet Explorer, and the growing popularity of Linux versus Microsoft Windows.

I believe there may be a sense of hubris in the way Microsoft is neglecting its established revenue lines. While its Windows still powers more than 80% of the computers in the world, there are several complaints against the operating system. In fact, many would argue that a lot of that $9.6 billion R&D should have been allocated to making the next edition of Windows bug-free, resource-light and malware-resistant.

Now, Microsoft may have its own reasons for this decision. It did commission a survey that showed the overwhelming rise of cloud computing in the next few years (See: Microsoft Study Says 40% of SMBs to Go on Cloud within 3 Years), and HP’s recent entry in the market may also have given it cause (See: HP Declares Ambitious Plans in Cloud Computing Space).

Moreover, as I had pointed out earlier, cloud computing is not the panacea to all IT ills, and hence, not all companies will move to the cloud en masse (See: How to Avoid a Cloud Computing Gold Rush ). Combine this with recent well-publicized failures and data breaches and the problem multiplies (See: What Effect Will the Epsilon Data Theft have on Cloud Computing? and Gmail Outage – Is Cloud Computing To Blame?).

In conclusion, I believe Microsoft is taking on a big risk here; however, big risks sometimes do translate into bigger profits. What’s in store for Microsoft, only time will tell.

By Sourya Biswas

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Managing Cloud Applications Among The Business Regulations

Managing Cloud Applications Among The Business Regulations

Managing  Cloud Business Regulations Cloud applications must be managed in a way that complies with the many different government standards in the United States. As more cloud applications are being implemented in businesses of every industry, companies need a way to ensure compliance. Some of these regulations include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA),…

How IRM Makes Cloud-Based File Collaboration “Security-Aware”

How IRM Makes Cloud-Based File Collaboration “Security-Aware”

IRM Cloud-Based File Collaboration  Data breaches and data loss due to insider threats, including malicious insiders stealing, manipulating or destroying data, are the fastest-growing risks that keep managers up at night, according to new research by Ernst & Young. How can we ensure that the right people in an organization have the right access to…

The Cloud on Your Terms – What to look for in an EFSS Provider

The Cloud on Your Terms – What to look for in an EFSS Provider

The Cloud on Your Terms Your company has a mandate to go to the cloud and now it’s time to decide which services to use to help your business grow. You might be wearing several hats or you might be a dedicated IT professional and the responsibility has now been handed to you. So what…

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) And BYOD Security

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) And BYOD Security

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS)  Technology has changed the world radically. But, to date, the world hasn’t changed as fast as technology to. There are a couple of concepts that are concerning as we head into the reality of CPS-deployed systems. The first is that standards don’t exist. Many companies are considering the Bring Your Own…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud? SDI

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud? SDI

Software Defined Infrastructure Well, we have come full circle with this string of subjects; about making sure you are ready for the cloud. We have talked security, storage, access, connectivity and feasibility to name a few. Now, lets discuss SDI. What is SDI? It simply stands for “Software Defined Infrastructure”. Many people have their own…

Where Is The Tipping Point For The Flying Drone Market?

Where Is The Tipping Point For The Flying Drone Market?

The Flying Drone Market In the past year I have written a number of articles here on CloudTweaks about Drones. I enjoy flying drones. One thing I’ve used my drone for is proving I didn’t need to do the worst fall maintenance job ever. Cleaning the gutters of the house by flying the drone around…

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Sponsor