Steve Ballmer on Microsoft Cloud Strategy includes 1 surprise

My blog would not be complete without a reference to the speech of Mr. Steve Ballmer on the strategy of cloud computing for Microsoft. The presentation was given at Washington University on March 4, 2010.

In general I is a very generic view on Cloud and SaaS with some references to Bing, Mapping, Xbox Live and Azure.

The surprise (to me) came in the Q&A: If I listened correctly Steve suggested that Azure would become available for 3rd parties. At 1:20h a question is asked about private clouds, the next question was about privacy and regulatory aspects. The answer that Steve gave indicated that somebody could obtain an "Windows Azure-Cloud" (in a container) and create his own private cloud.

Steve made it absolutely clear that "the cloud" will not be owned by 4 to 5 companies worldwide. Steve ends his speech by saying that there will be a 'customer version' available.