Microsoft will spend $8B to catch up in cloud computing

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A stunning piece of news that I would have been incredulous to hear if I hadn’t been there when they said it. I think Microsoft is taking some great steps in a thought-leadership position. Sure, they’re buying their way into markets, but that’s what they excel at, and if you’re watching closely, and ignoring the nattering nabobs of negativism (I’m looking at you, popular media,) MSFT has been creating some pretty cool things lately (been to livelabs.com yet?), and acquiring some great products (App-V, MED-V, Hyper-V, etc.)

I, for one, welcome our cloud computing overlords.

BetaNews | Microsoft will spend $8 B to catch up in cloud computing

In announcing three new virtualization products today, a top Microsoft official outlined a new Microsoft “vision statement,” to be supported by $8 billion in annual software R&D spending across entertainment, Vista, and cloud computing.

Although Microsoft “is not the leader” on the consumer side of software for cloud computing, the company stands way above everyone else on the business side of that equation, maintained Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO, in a keynote speech at today’s “Get Virtual Now” conference in Bellevue, Washington.

Turner outlined a new Microsoft strategy of spreading an $8 billion R&D budget — the largest in the industry, he claimed — across areas that include entertainment software, Vista-enabled desktop computing, and both the “commercial” and consumer aspects of cloud computing, a phenomenon he sees as closely intertwined with virtualization.

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