Paul Thurrott, thurrott@windowsitpro.com



At its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) event
later this month, Microsoft will publicly unveil its "Windows Cloud"
Internet-based OS, the company confirmed. I’ve been told several times
by Microsoft representatives in the recent past that this system would
in fact be the focus of PDC, this year.

"We need a new OS designed for the cloud and we will introduce one in
about four weeks," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said yesterday in London.
"We’ll even have a name to give you by then. But let’s just call it for
the purposes of today ‘Windows Cloud.’ Just like Windows Server looked a
lot like Windows but with new properties, new characteristics, and new
features,
so will Windows Cloud look a lot like Windows Server."

This platform has been in the works for a long time, and the most
obvious public face of Microsoft cloud work right now is the Live Mesh
project that was championed by Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie. A session
description for the PDC describes a "Microsoft cloud platform" that
provides "scalability and availability" and "service isolation and
protection."

In an official statement, Microsoft confirmed the coming platform.
"Microsoft is investing heavily in its Software + Services vision,
particularly as it relates to the services platform to deliver a set of
solutions that address our customer’s needs," an official statement
reads. "We are working with many of our customers, partners and our
broad developer community to understand their needs for extensible,
scalable services platforms."

While Microsoft has been slowly and methodically embracing cloud
computing
for a few years now, this explicit admission that it is
working on a Windows OS that runs in the Internet cloud should put an
end to any nay saying. "We’ve gotta build a service that is Windows in
the cloud," Ballmer said.

Yes you do, Steve. Yes, you do.