Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

TR: This sounds similar to the Microsoft project Live Mesh.

CM: That’s a perfect example. Ray Ozzie’s been doing that work for several years to build, essentially, a cloud platform that is complementary to the evolving client or multiclient platform. It would provide common data services and orchestration processes that you could subscribe to from each of the related clients. That is indeed one of the early visible parts of this composite platform that we are trying to bring forward.

TR: People also talk about cloud computing as “software as a service,” with the idea that the software all comes to the user from the cloud. But that doesn’t seem to be the view you’re taking.

CM: People who started out and said, “Hey, all software should just become a service,” started out with the misconception that the computing model that we know is mature and won’t evolve anymore. Therefore, if communications capability and cost continue to improve, then maybe I should just put all the computing back in the middle and leave some modicum of intelligence at the edge in order to facilitate the presentation.

TR: You use the term “software plus services.” What do you mean by that?

CM: There are things that are valuable when centralized in a cloud and presented as a service. But if you look at the most sophisticated applications today–even the ones that are web-oriented–they increasingly depend on more and more sophisticated client components. I think the reason is that bandwidth is not infinite, and certainly not always available, and certainly not cheap. While that may improve, there is also the physical problem of latency.

What you start to see is a new application class. I contend it makes no sense to try to push [lots of data and processing] up the wire [to the cloud, just] so that it can come back and talk to you. And so, ultimately, that leads us back to what I call this composite platform, where you’ve got a balanced set of roles between what you expect the cloud to provide and what you expect the clients to provide themselves.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Credit: Technology Review

Tagged: Computing, Microsoft, cloud computing, EmTech08, Craig Mundie

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me