Joining Microsoft in the Cloud

After hearing about Microsoft’s change of focus to Cloud Computing – they’re now ‘betting on the Cloudaccording to Steve Ballmer – I’ve been keeping my eye open for what this might mean in reality. I’ve just read a good post from Darryl Burling, a product manager for Online Services and SharePoint, which is a great introduction for what this shift of focus to the cloud might mean for businesses and service providers. The possible business models Darryl puts forward are:

  1. Consumer
  2. Consultant
  3. Reseller
  4. Implementer
  5. Provider
  6. Combinations

The article is definitely worth a quick read to see what these models involve/ look like and perhaps how they could fit in with you.

One area that isn’t explicitly mentioned, which I think all of the SharePoint Community is awaiting is the possible emergence of an Online Product Store for SharePoint (or SharePoint App Store!). I guess this would fit into the Consumer business model of making a product that others will pay for. Given that the technology seems to be able to support this concept (with sandboxed solutions) then I’m hoping that this is something we’ll hear more about when the next iteration of SharePoint Online is made available.

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