Microsoft is less than a month away from introducing an Internet-based operating system, CEO Steve Ballmer told a recent conference of software developers in London.
"We'll need a new operating system," Ballmer said. "Just as we have an operating system for the PC, for the phone and for the server, we need a new operating system that runs in the Internet."
Ballmer did not know exactly how the product would be branded, but said it would be called "Windows something". For the time being, he continued, "I'll call it Windows Cloud. And Windows Cloud will be a place where you can run arbitrary applications up in the Internet that runs .NET."
The variety of Internet development tools makes it difficult for people to write Cloud applications, so Microsoft plans to extend its technology stack so programmers could apply their existing programming skills. A new Internet-friendly version of SQL Server is also on the cards, where it will join online implementations of Exchange and SharePoint, he said.
Ballmer acknowledged that Windows Cloud was a response to the rise of Google as a potential platform for business applications.
"I think we offer much, much, much, much stronger functionality, we offer much stronger control to the CIO, and we offer an equivalently good economic value. I think they have a long way to go. Frankly, I don't even think they're today our strongest competitor," he said.
A fuller version of this report is available on our sister site MyCustomer.com, where John Paterson, CEO of online CRM software provider ReallySimpleSystems commented that his money was on Microsoft.
"As every car/software sales director knows, given an average product and great sales & marketing versus better product and not-so-good sales and marketing, the average product will win," he explained. "Google is a technology machine, Microsoft is that and a sales and marketing machine to boot. Microsoft understands how to treat customers and has a channel. Google doesn't and doesn't seem to want to."
As perceptions change and people start to think of Google as just another arrogant IT company, what we'll end up with is a traditional vendor fist fight. "Steve Ballmer is a bright guy, and Microsoft hasn't lost many straight fights," wrote Paterson.
Our sister site, AccountingWEB.co.uk provided this report.