I just received an email invitation to try out a new application. I get a lot of those these days, but this one was different.
It was from Microsoft.
It piqued my interest. A Web Platform Installer? Microsoft doing PHP?
I went to the URL provided and I was blown away with the concept behind this application.
Basically Windows could potentially introduce point-and-click cloud computing for the masses in a way that resembles the iPhone application directory but for web applications, once their Azure cloud service is launched.
According to my friend Roberto Bonini, Azure is just the beginning of a frontal attack for the Cloud Computing crown:
The way I see this evolving is that basically you could launch a cloud-enabled version of the Web Platform Installer add an application from the gallery and launch it on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud and that’s it. The application basically handles the database, frontend, and serving in a matter of minutes. Of course developers would need to modify their payloads to be cloud-aware, but this is not something crazy.
There is already an application gallery that you can see. Matt Mullenweg was quoted today that WordPress is one of these applications, so bloggers can start their self-hosted blog in minutes, and there are many more already listed, like SugarCRM and mojoPortal. Microsoft is inviting developers to submit their applications to potentially be run by millions of users.
Windows Azure won’t launch until January 1st, but Microsoft is working hard to position itself as the defacto provider of cloud computing for the masses. This is going to be the Microsoft of the future. You can tell they know this is their new business model: cloud applications.
Microsoft has found their new Outlook.
Author’s note: I have edited the article to express my ideas better in terms of where I am extrapolating and where this is an existing application. For the record, I am big fan of Open Source stack, and as a matter of fact this blog runs on EC2, and I have million hits applications currently running for commercial enterprises on the AWS environment.