Cloud computing the future for Microsoft

Microsoft is planning to spend $9.5 billion in R&D and appears to be going all-out on research in the coming year, with a great focus on the cloud.

Microsoft has more cloud services than any other company, ranging from its consumer email service to hosted enterprise products such as its Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) system to its Azure cloud operating system. Microsoft says it’s going to change and reinvent the company around leading in the cloud.

Ballmer recently spoke with computer science students this week at the University of Washington, saying that “a year from now… 90 percent of Microsoft employees would be working in the cloud.” He went on to say that the cloud base is the future for Microsoft.

It’s not like any of this is a suprise, though; we’ve already seen a shift to Google Documents given the ability to access it from any web-connected computer. In related news, European director of Google’s online sales John Herlihy said that in three years time, desktops will be irrelevant.

Cloud computing – the idea that software, files and services are not tied to an individual computer, but are in fact accessible everywhere, on any machine, via the internet – is a matter of increasing importance for technology companies.

Cloud computing eliminates the worry about software updates, keeping track of different passwords and manual syncing and sharing of data, thereby increasing business productivity and lessening frustrations for users and IT administrators alike. That’s the power of the cloud.

If you have experience with cloud computing and some insights about its future, let us know in the comments.

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