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Microsoft prepares to make perhaps the biggest leap in its history

For a company like Microsoft, constant change is inherent for survival. The company recognizes this and with each iteration of its Windows operating system, it tries to react to the lessons learned from the last OS and the current market trends. Windows 7 will try to learn and grow from Windows Vista, just as Vista tried to grow from XP before it.

However, one thing for Microsoft has always stayed constant -- the Windows brand name. Since November of 1985, with the release of Windows 1.0, Microsoft has never strayed far from the brand name that made it in the OS business. But now as it sees the need to evolve yet again. Internal company documents have revealed it is doing the unthinkable -- it is designing a non-Windows branded OS.

Such ideas at Microsoft's OS division might be branded as heresy by some, but others laud the move. As Microsoft feels that no existing technology is sufficient for the OS's unique challenges, the new OS will be an entirely new design, built from the ground up. The system is codenamed Midori and it will be released sometime post-2010.

The new OS will focus on a rapidly growing field of computing -- cloud computing. Cloud computing -- or the movement to shift hardware and software, particularly storage, out of home PCs and into computing clusters -- is gaining significant momentum. Thanks to widespread high speed internet, an internet-connected box communicating remotely with hardware can perform visually approximately as well as a box with dedicated hardware. Further, by adopting a server-style hardware system for the cloud computing resources, costs will drop, the driving motivation behind the push to adopt cloud computing.

The internal documents reveal Microsoft to be focusing on this internet-centered aspect, emphasizing connectivity. The new OS is built on Microsoft Research's Singularity experimental OS, an entirely new OS codebase created but not yet publicly released. Midori will run on native hardware (x86, x64 and ARM), via hosting with Windows Hyper-V hypervisor, or even hosted within a Windows process of future operating systems.

Early reports indicate that Eric Rudder, senior vice president for technical strategy at Microsoft and an alumnus of Bill Gates' technical staff, is in charge of the new OS's development. Rob Helm, director of research at Directions on Microsoft confirmed that the rumors are likely true stating, "That sounds possible—I’ve heard rumors to the effect that he [Rudder] had an OS project in place."

Microsoft's plans detail efforts to make Windows and Midori applications coexist and work together nicely, although some efforts are also being made purely to migrate applications to Midori. Midori will be built upon an asynchronous-only architecture that is built for task concurrency and parallel use of local and distributed resources. This will help it manage various hardware and software resources over the net. It will also feature a distributed component-based and data-driven application model, and dynamic management of power and other resources.

The new efforts focus on allowing applications to run in a variety of environments from P2P networks to traditional servers to cloud computing clusters. Microsoft will use high level abstraction of the hardware resources to help programs work together; a scheme Microsoft internally calls Asynchronous Promise Architecture. In order to allow for cloud-hosted applications, Microsoft is focusing on three development branches -- execution techniques, a platform stack and a programming model that can tolerate cancellation, intermittent connectivity and latency. The OS features a new stack and techniques, which will allow for extreme multi-threading, with more threads than ever before running simultaneously.

The new efforts by Microsoft attempt to take the very complex program of cloud computing resource management and multitasking and break them down into a simple interface that will be useable by programmers. Forrester Research senior analyst Jeffrey Hammond says, "Mere mortal developers need a programming model/application model that lets them distribute processing to massively parallel devices without having to become experts. Even with the quad-core Intel chips today, you have to have specialist teams to take full advantage of them."

Among other things, Microsoft will migrate APIs, applications, and developers to a constrained model of state management. It is also using metadata heavily and looks to do away with dynamic loading. The new OS will be supported by .NET for programming projects. Much work will be done in incorporate easy to use abstraction and multitasking into the .NET framework.

The new OS will be slimmer with two kernels: a micro-kernel for low level and a second kernel for high level. It will also be more secure, with the components isolated and their communication channels more secure.

Ultimately, the programming and technical details of the new OS will likely matter little to the home user. What will matter is Microsoft is hoping to provide them with a more secure, cheaper OS+netbox option, which could possibly fall in the $250-$350 range. To add a bit of final perspective on Microsoft's groundbreaking new efforts its worth considering -- the last time Microsoft wrote an entirely new OS on this magnitude, there was no internet as we know it today. The changes that have come since are a key reason why Microsoft's decision to start from scratch may prove a savvy one.



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Likely won't work
By FITCamaro on 7/31/2008 8:47:56 AM , Rating: 5
With the likelyhood of bandwidth capped internet connections becoming reality in the next 5-10 years, cloud-computing would never survive in the consumer world. Also how many people would trust going across the internet to use certain applications as far as security and privacy are concerned?

In a business environment, it could work though.

Perhaps with this project though they will get some new ideas for improving Windows and making it thinner and lighter.




RE: Likely won't work
By ralith on 7/31/2008 9:10:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Perhaps with this project though they will get some new ideas for improving Windows and making it thinner and lighter.

I thought Windows 7 was suppose to address that? Isn't it suppose to be scaleable all the way from cell phones to servers or have I been reading articles by people smoking the good stuff?


RE: Likely won't work
By FITCamaro on 7/31/2008 9:25:57 AM , Rating: 3
Windows 7 will be Vista with some additions and improvements. It's not going to be the light and scalable OS everyone hoped it be. Will it be a little better in those terms? Maybe.


RE: Likely won't work
By Mr Perfect on 7/31/2008 1:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 is reported to have the same hardware requirements as Vista. They're not making it leaner, just holding the line.

Google of said requirements.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=windows+7+req...


RE: Likely won't work
By AstroCreep on 7/31/2008 7:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, somewhere down the line the whole idea that Windows 7 (a.k.a. "Vienna", a.k.a. "Blackcomb") would be a slimmed-down OS running off of what was referred to as "MinWin" was killed.

Now the idea is that Windows 7 will be based off of the same kernel as Vista and the same driver architecture.

Sigh...


RE: Likely won't work
By jconan on 7/31/2008 11:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it suppose to be based off on Microsoft server 2008 supporting Vista code? That was the last on the wire...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 9:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think Microsoft is targeting the home users for this. Cloud computing from a business perspective is fine.


RE: Likely won't work
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/31/2008 9:25:37 AM , Rating: 5
Perhaps in the short term, but in the long term, this OS and its followers are targeting the consumer industry.

Cloud computing thinkers generally claim that eventually home users will shift away from local hardware as bandwidth increases with time.

The hardest thing, they admit will be getting people to agree to part with their private data. However services like Google's storage services and internet applications are already doing this in effect. Its true PC gamers will not want to part with their necessary video hardware, but they're in the minority of PC users (and I acknowledge that being among the minority).

Microsoft is definitely targeting the consumer. How soon its cloud computing efforts will succeed is the real question.


RE: Likely won't work
By TreeDude62 on 7/31/2008 9:48:06 AM , Rating: 3
How are they going to target consumers? I do not think 99% of home users have a need for remote processing. You do not need a cluster of PCs to launch a web browser, download music, play a game, or even edit a home movie.

This is going to be business class all the way. A massive computing cloud for performing highly complex calculations or large amounts of data processing.


RE: Likely won't work
By spluurfg on 7/31/2008 10:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do not need a cluster of PCs to launch a web browser, download music, play a game, or even edit a home movie.


I don't think you really understand. The examples you cite are already great examples of how the 'cloud' can replace the user's terminal -- music is a great example; instead of storing music locally, it's streamed. Why have every user have a massive hard drive to store thousands of songs when they can simply stream whatever they want from the net? Simple games like card games or pool are already run through browsers.

Imagine if broadband connections were so fast that you could run a graphically intensive online game off a remote server and stream just the I/O -- so you wouldn't need a powerful graphics card.

I think the idea behind Midori is to simplify the process of managing massive clouds to create these sorts of applications. Performing highly complex calculations or large amounts of data processing (such as that done by universities) is already manageable by clustering software.


RE: Likely won't work
By Diesel Donkey on 7/31/2008 12:08:47 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Imagine if broadband connections were so fast that you could run a graphically intensive online game off a remote server and stream just the I/O -- so you wouldn't need a powerful graphics card


How would you remove the latency inherent in a setup like that? With gamers buying mice with crazy DPIs and poll rates to stay on top, I don't see how an internet connection of any kind (at least based on technologies similar to those already available) could possibly keep up. I suppose it could definitely work for non-FPS games where the input speed is not so critical, but for fast-paced games it seems to me that the hardware will need to remain localized. Having lag cause you to miss a shot or something in a game is one thing, but if you have trouble controlling your own character due to latency that could get very annoying very fast.


RE: Likely won't work
By Mojo the Monkey on 7/31/2008 1:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your post. Also, could you imagine the computing power needed to run thousands and thousands of high-res 3d video processing apps for people running games? just too expensive.

Also with regard to your latency point, I agree that there is no way that our current broadband system could handle the kind of latency requirements people would demand before they would switch to this kind of thing.


RE: Likely won't work
By afkrotch on 8/1/2008 2:57:18 AM , Rating: 1
Too expensive? Currently home computers can easily run 2-3 instances of a single game, but the problem is one game locks down the hardware, so you can't actually do this.

Most games are still single-threaded. Most games don't make much use of SLI/Crossfire. You can't tell me that a quad core, quad sli setup isn't capable of running 4-5 different games at 1600x1200 max settings at 30-60 fps.

Anyways, I doubt cluster computing will be used for gaming. They expect majority home users to be using this for Net apps, like word, powerpoint, etc. While they get their gaming needs from Xbox 360 or whatever other consoles are out there. I see this as working perfectly fine.


RE: Likely won't work
By spluurfg on 7/31/2008 1:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How would you remove the latency inherent in a setup like that?


Well as it stands, the server sends you data and you send data back. The time it takes to render stuff is pretty much negligable compared to the latency whether it's on your PC or on the server, assuming they have the necessary computing power. So the only thing that would change is the server would send you more data (i.e. the video). If you have the throughput, the latency shouldn't change, really.
In fact it'd be nicer, as currently there's a discrepancy between what the server thinks and what you see at any given moment -- such a system would remove that discrepancy.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 1:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
But without a large increase in bandwidth there would be a massive delay while all the information was sent and assembled. I can't see ISP's going along with this when they are already crying that they can't handle the demands currently by users.


RE: Likely won't work
By HrilL on 7/31/2008 2:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
In most areas they can handle the demands currently by their users. They are just looking to save most costs because something like 5% of their users use 40% of their bandwidth. What I get from that as meaning is not that 40% of their available bandwidth is taken but that 5% of the users are using 40% of the bandwidth used on their networks. They want users to pay, but not actually use their connects so they don't have to pay much overhead for peering. I don't believe they are as bandwidth starved as some of them would like you to believe. A cable node may be low on spare bandwidth but their backbone from the office has plenty of room for expansion. They don’t want to run more copper out to those nodes that need it.


RE: Likely won't work
By Segerstein on 7/31/2008 7:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand people bitching about 5% of users using 40% of the bandwidth... This is why ISP offer different plans!!! If you need it just for web, email, chat and youtube, you get a cheaper 512/128 connection. If you are a heavy user, running your own server or remote desktop or P2P, then you get 20/20Mbps or higher. But you pay more. It's up to the ISP to make pricing that brings them profit.

It's stupid to offer a capped 20/20 plan...


RE: Likely won't work
By afkrotch on 8/1/2008 2:11:38 AM , Rating: 2
They'd much rather make a single plan and not give options for a cheaper plan. Then they'd just cap your ass when you use an amount of bandwith they didn't like. Even if it's well within your plan and they don't put in the contract a set amount of data that you can transfer around within a month.


RE: Likely won't work
By spluurfg on 8/1/2008 7:26:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But without a large increase in bandwidth there would be a massive delay while all the information was sent and assembled. I can't see ISP's going along with this when they are already crying that they can't handle the demands currently by users.


Ever-increasing bandwidth is sort of an axiom of the hardware-as-a-service/cloud model. Kind of like how streaming video rentals would have been an impossibility prior to the penetration of broadband. Sinking the concept due to the then-present bandwidth limitations ignores the point.


RE: Likely won't work
By Diesel Donkey on 7/31/2008 3:53:57 PM , Rating: 3
I understand what you're saying, and again, I think that what you're describing would work fine for a turn-based strategy game or something along those lines. My point, however, is that as faced-paced multiplayer games currently operate (at least in the FPS genre), the gamer controls a character on his or her screen as that character moves around a map that is loaded on the local computer. There is no lag in moving that character around and interacting with the environment. There is lag in interacting with other characters and elements of the game that can be changed in real-time by any player. So, you would be correct to say that the latency due to interactions wouldn't change in the setup you outlined. However, it would be maddening if your computer had to wait for a response from a server every time you command your character to move forward.

Imagine playing a driving game, where you're making many small corrections to stay on the road. Now suppose that there's a small delay between when you move your wheel (or finger on the keyboard) and when the car actually responds. I don't know about you, but that would make me crazy!


RE: Likely won't work
By Mojo the Monkey on 7/31/2008 7:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. This is why I only use wired equipment to play games on my pc. (though, I have to admit some higher end RF is pretty close to perfect) And that lag time pales in comparison to net latency. Can you imagine connecting to a server with a 55 ping, meaning 110ms to witness a response from an input...


RE: Likely won't work
By Nihility on 7/31/2008 8:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
A ping is the time it takes to make a round trip. So you send a packet and get a packet back. With a ping of 55 it would take 55ms to get a response to an input.


RE: Likely won't work
By SlyNine on 7/31/2008 9:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
Even so, 55ms would be maddening, It may not seem like much, but if you had to deal with it, it wouldn't take long for you to notice it, and not long after that you wouldn't want to deal with it.

I used a MX800 logitec mouse for a while, until I realized I could not deal with the delay. Games that have mouse lag drives me crazy. There is always some input lag, and it has gotten worst since the days of UT99 in a lot of games. I cannot play Americas army anymore because of it.

Between input lag, mouse acceleration, and LCD ghosting (plus input lag in some) a lot of great games have been ruined for me. While my new monitor is great and has no real input lag and ghosting is minimal. Id much rather have my old CRT for games.

Now do they expect someone like me , A customer on the bleeding edge, to buy in too that. If I wont get it then who will?


RE: Likely won't work
By afkrotch on 8/1/2008 3:24:02 AM , Rating: 1
Sounds like an elitist bitching to me, even though he probably doesn't notice any of these so called "lags" that he's claiming to.

It's like those elitist bitching about hearing the difference between 320k mp3 and lossless or the visual differences between HD-DVD or Blu-ray.

Sure you'll notice the difference between an 10 dpi and a 2000 dpi mouse, but mouse acceleration? Change your window settings. LCD ghosting? Yep, big problem when LCDs first started coming in, but now it's not all that bad. Not enough that I'd go back to a CRT. Also input lag? Hell of a lot less input lag than a crappy analog CRT.


RE: Likely won't work
By SlyNine on 8/2/2008 1:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
Just because you don't notice it, doesn't mean I'm an elitist. I just cannot understand you're logic.

I take all audio at lossless, because when you start transcoding that in to other formats you CAN tell the difference, Shitty in shitty out.

As far as LCD vs CRT. When they came out a lot of them had a problem with the internal processors that would cause dropped frames and input lag, and if you'd get off your thrown and look you'd see a lot of people were having those issues. I'm useing a BenQ FP241W. I can tell the difference in all FPS. I only upgraded because my Viewsonic broke.

If you cannot tell what mouse lag is and do not notice input lag in recent games. Then good for you. A lot, and I mean a LOT of people can.


RE: Likely won't work
By althaz on 8/5/2008 10:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
Input lag is not something I really notice, unless it's looked for of course and the difference between identically encoded BluRay and HD-DVD is nought, but there's a pretty obvious difference between a high-quality lossless track (like say DVD-A) and a 320k mp3.

I would never go back to my CRT as the flickering causes eyestrain and the picture is much sharper on my new LCD. The ghosting is virtually non-existent so it doesn't worry me but to say there is more input lag on an analogue CRT when it's the digital components that create the lag is the height of stupidity.


RE: Likely won't work
By spluurfg on 8/1/2008 7:23:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even so, 55ms would be maddening, It may not seem like much, but if you had to deal with it, it wouldn't take long for you to notice it, and not long after that you wouldn't want to deal with it.


Assuming you're running at about 60fps, you already have a lag time of about 17ms before you can render. Plus your average display already has a typical lag in excess of the published response time, say another 10-30ms. If we had some sort of mega uber-cloud, we could probably further reduce the render time. Couple that with improved display technology, and eventually it might all end up pretty much the same.

quote:
Between input lag, mouse acceleration, and LCD ghosting (plus input lag in some) a lot of great games have been ruined for me. While my new monitor is great and has no real input lag and ghosting is minimal. Id much rather have my old CRT for games.


That's a shame. Why didn't you keep your CRT? I could be annoying and challenge you to an FPS where you host the server in a vain attempt to prove that 50ms gaming can still be fun, but instead I'm going to suggest you play soccer or some other game without such miserable lag.


RE: Likely won't work
By SlyNine on 8/2/2008 1:30:42 AM , Rating: 2
OK name the game. But remember this, its not just 50ms, Its 50ms on TOP of every thing else. Hell you have a 40ms Delay from the light hitting your eye, and the signal reaching your brain.

I've used this screen name with every game I've played since around 01. So If you see me. You will be able to identify me. I dont really get on and play much but I do find time somtimes. I currently play COD4 some, but the mouse accel and input lag does infact kill me.

However If you want me at my best, some UT99 or Americas army insurgent camp will do just fine.


RE: Likely won't work
By tonster181 on 8/5/2008 4:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you've not seen high end gaming spluurfg. The difference between a 50 ms ping and 100 ms ping can be the difference between life and death. You really don't know what you are talking about if you aren't a serious gamer.

The trouble is that mouse lag is MUCH WORSE than ping related issues, because ping is somewhat mitigated by the gaming industry. Mouse lag cannot be mitigated in the same way. It would make games unplayable (fps at least).

The gamer you called elitist is totally right. I had a logitech wireless mouse and it was terrible. I also had an LCD that ghosts. I could play on this machine with the ghosting and laggy mouse and bet 1:2 kill/death ratio, but at home with a good CRT and wired mouse I was 1:1 or 1.5:1. That is the fact.

If I was you, I'd look up some gaming videos. There are some great ones that include Fatal1ty from quake 3 days. You'd be AMAZED at what people can do in a game. I wish people would read a bit or research before they started calling other people names. Here is a web site to look at some of the videos. www.own-age.com


RE: Likely won't work
By Alexstarfire on 7/31/08, Rating: 0
RE: Likely won't work
By Ratinator on 7/31/2008 1:31:00 PM , Rating: 3
Think of it this way. All a user has to own is a monitor, keyboard, laptop and some box to connect the three together which they buy for $100.

Now imagine that all your software/hardware management is handled by a third party. You will never have to call up your computer techie friend to come fix your computer anymore. It is all handled by a third party. Need more hard drive space, no problem, put in a request (maybe for a small fee) and now you have another terabyte of space and all you had to do was click a few buttons on a requst form.

Game companies would most likely host their own software instead of having you install it. Want to run World of Warcraft, no problem. Sign up and you are immediately ready to go. No install, no dealing with incompatible hardware, no dealing with corruption on your side, etc....

This is a very intresting step forward (or one could almost say we have come full circle back to the mainframe days only on a much much larger scale).


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 1:56:28 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Now imagine that all your software/hardware management is handled by a third party.

Looking at $50-100 per month contract fee to provide that maintenance for you. Afterall they need the data center, support personnel, hardware, bandwidth, routers, etc....

quote:
You will never have to call up your computer techie friend to come fix your computer anymore.

True. Now you just need to call the regular tech support line and sit in queue. Fun times that.

quote:
Need more hard drive space, no problem, put in a request (maybe for a small fee) and now you have another terabyte of space and all you had to do was click a few buttons on a requst form.

I wouldn't bet on a small fee, I would bet on an additional charge on your monthly fee for "additional storage". Companies are in the business to make a profit, not sell to you at rock bottom prices. Also look for advertisements right on your desktop to provide additional revenue, as well as well targeted ads since they have all your data (Google).

quote:
Game companies would most likely host their own software instead of having you install it. Want to run World of Warcraft, no problem. Sign up and you are immediately ready to go. No install, no dealing with incompatible hardware, no dealing with corruption on your side, etc....

Game companies would need to partner with the Cloud Hosts to make sure the software is readily available to cloud customers.

quote:
This is a very intresting step forward

I find it to be a step backwards. While they talk of cloud computing, the reality is that our internet infrastructure as it stands can't handle all of the traffic we would like to put over it. Internal to companies this is a fine idea since you can roll 100MB or gigabit lines to every desktop without trouble. You aren't going to get the necessary bandwidth and speeds to internet customers, not a chance.


RE: Likely won't work
By herrdoktor330 on 7/31/2008 4:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
Kenobi: I agree and I urge you to continue to stand by your point.

For the rest of you folks talking about how awesome this sounds:

If you want to take my home OS management away from me, I have these five words for you...

"from my cold, dead hands."

If I wanted someone else to manage my computers I'd just magic up the MCP from "TRON" and have him take over.

That's my major beef with this whole "cloud computing" hype when it comes to the consumer market. You have no "ownership" over anything you're doing with your computer at that point. Sure, you got your computer cheaper and maybe with massively multithreaded apps certain tasks get done faster. But I'll be danged if I'm going to hand over my rights to fair use and my own personal archiving.

While I can see where this would be a value on the enterprise level of things, pushing this into customer's homes is the thin wedge of telling you how you can or can't use the device you paid your hard earned money for and maybe even built yourself.

endrant;


RE: Likely won't work
By elgueroloco on 7/31/2008 5:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
I absolutely agree with Master Kenobi on this. I think it would work very well in a big company occupying a big building with a big network and 100's of computers. Now they can just make workstations to access the actual data centers. This will further enable them to monitor employee activity and punish/reduce unproductive goofing off.

For that reason, among others, I will never, ever submit to cloud computing. I want my photos and documents on my computer. I want my music on my computer. I want to be able to use my computer whether my internet connection is working or not. It's my stuff, not theirs, and I want it in my home.

Also, I want to be able to browse the internet at good speeds without all the bandwidth in the universe being sucked up by unnecessary traffic that could be handled locally.

Finally, I don't want the gov't to be able to access all my stuff whenever they want (and you know they would be able to). I also don't want it out in public for any stupid hacker to come along and get at it. These cloud computing clusters would be fiercly targeted by every hacker and ID thief in existence, and I doubt they would spend the money to put super good security on them. Granted, my home computer is not super secure, but it's also fairly anonymous and unlikely to be singled out by anyone. It also doesn't contain sensitive info. These clusters would track every bit of info they could possibly gather about you and keep it, sell it, lose it to hackers, etc.

I can't speak for every user out there, but I will never accept this for my home computing, and nobody else I know would either.


RE: Likely won't work
By afkrotch on 8/1/2008 3:55:41 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
True. Now you just need to call the regular tech support line and sit in queue. Fun times that.


Odds are high, if one person has the problem, more ppl will have the problem. Thus, it'll probably get fixed when someone else calls in.

Also guess what? If you had a problem with your home computer, you'd be sitting in a tech support line anyways. At least the average home user would.

While the ppl who actually know a thing or two about computers would never move to cloud computing. The problem is you aren't viewing this from a stupid computer user's pov.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/1/2008 9:39:28 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Odds are high, if one person has the problem, more ppl will have the problem.

Incorrect. The odds are actually quite low. This isn't going to be an office based cloud where you can't make changes to the environment. Big money says they would be able to and that makes each user profile unique after about 30 seconds.

quote:
Also guess what? If you had a problem with your home computer, you'd be sitting in a tech support line anyways. At least the average home user would.

Ah, but now you have gone from having many support centers with different companies to having just one. Instead of calling ASUS because your having a problem, you now call Google just like everyone else. People who knew a techie no longer can use the card, people who knew a little bit to figure out who to call depending on the problem are now forced to also use the same as everyone else.

quote:
While the ppl who actually know a thing or two about computers would never move to cloud computing. The problem is you aren't viewing this from a stupid computer user's pov.

I'm viewing it exactly from a stupid computer user POV. High monthly fees, this will be like having another "service" in the home. Lousy service quality (A staple of consumer services these days). Everyone has to fit through the square hole, regardless of your dimensions. Data accessible by that company, their partners, and the government, at all times. Slow speeds because bandwidth isnt yet in place to handle this sort of thing.

So much for a "good computing experience". You save a few dollars on the purchase price of the machine, but in a year you just paid it back twofold in fees and subscriptions. Not to mention how much you paid in time. Time = Money.


RE: Likely won't work
By afkrotch on 8/1/2008 10:23:11 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Incorrect. The odds are actually quite low. This isn't going to be an office based cloud where you can't make changes to the environment. Big money says they would be able to and that makes each user profile unique after about 30 seconds.


I don't see the user as having a dummy terminal. It'd actually be a PC at their desk, with a very minor amount of processing power and storage. Something akin to a small itx box. Where your profile can be saved locally.

quote:
Ah, but now you have gone from having many support centers with different companies to having just one. Instead of calling ASUS because your having a problem, you now call Google just like everyone else. People who knew a techie no longer can use the card, people who knew a little bit to figure out who to call depending on the problem are now forced to also use the same as everyone else.


If you buy from Dell/HP/Gateway/etc, you're stuck with one support company anyways. What the majority of your average home user would have.

You only have the option of different companies if you happen to build your own computer. As I mentioned, I don't see this being for a techie.

quote:
I'm viewing it exactly from a stupid computer user POV. High monthly fees, this will be like having another "service" in the home. Lousy service quality (A staple of consumer services these days). Everyone has to fit through the square hole, regardless of your dimensions. Data accessible by that company, their partners, and the government, at all times. Slow speeds because bandwidth isnt yet in place to handle this sort of thing.


As long as the company can give the user something worthwhile, ppl will pay for it. Cable TV. Majority of it is old shows that you get to watch over and over again. The good shows are aired freely and paid with through ads. Yet a lot of Americans still will pay for cable tv, think they'll get something worthwhile.

How many millions of Americans already keep their information online? Using some type of google, yahoo, msn, etc service for free. Just about everything they felt like keeping is put on the net anyways through myspace, blogs, etc.

quote:
So much for a "good computing experience". You save a few dollars on the purchase price of the machine, but in a year you just paid it back twofold in fees and subscriptions. Not to mention how much you paid in time. Time = Money.


It's the American way. I'm sure it's like 95% of Americans are indebt. It's just a guess, but probably close.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/1/2008 10:55:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't see the user as having a dummy terminal. It'd actually be a PC at their desk, with a very minor amount of processing power and storage. Something akin to a small itx box. Where your profile can be saved locally.

Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the implementation and it could go either way.

quote:
If you buy from Dell/HP/Gateway/etc, you're stuck with one support company anyways. What the majority of your average home user would have.

Not really, you get to call the inidividual companies if your having a problem with a specific piece of software, or hardware (Linksys, Logitech).

quote:
You only have the option of different companies if you happen to build your own computer. As I mentioned, I don't see this being for a techie.

Any "techie" would cease to be one if he switched to a cloud terminal I would think, no?

quote:
As long as the company can give the user something worthwhile, ppl will pay for it. Cable TV. Majority of it is old shows that you get to watch over and over again. The good shows are aired freely and paid with through ads. Yet a lot of Americans still will pay for cable tv, think they'll get something worthwhile.

No argument there. Minor correction that some stations (Sci-Fi) run new series but the stations are only run through cable. You could always wait for the season DVD's which seem to be released quickly too though.

quote:
How many millions of Americans already keep their information online? Using some type of google, yahoo, msn, etc service for free. Just about everything they felt like keeping is put on the net anyways through myspace, blogs, etc.

That would be an interesting statistic to have and discuss.

quote:
It's the American way. I'm sure it's like 95% of Americans are indebt. It's just a guess, but probably close.

I doubt very much it is that high, but it is very likely north of 65%.


RE: Likely won't work
By augiem on 7/31/2008 6:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Cloud computing seems a bit like public transportation. You don't have to buy a car, but you're going to have to share your ride with a lot of people and fight for a place to sit.

Pricing for these services would have to be subscription based to support hardware maintenance and upgrades. And then you get into the "Premium" subscriptions where you get more guaranteed processing power for a price. Gamers would fall into that category.

I wonder if they've done any environmental impact studies on this. That's always a way to sell these ideas to the public and city officials. All those processors, all that electricity... still, I wonder if it would consume less than all the millions of PC's out there, especially with throttling of resources based on load demand.

Interesting to say the least.

Augie


RE: Likely won't work
By djc208 on 8/3/2008 7:59:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do not need a cluster of PCs to launch a web browser, download music, play a game, or even edit a home movie.


That's exactly the point he was trying to make. Imagine a true $100 laptop because all it did was run Firefox.
Need e-mail? You pull up the on-line e-mail client. Write a document? Web-based word processors are everywhere (like we're using to write these posts). Pictures are already stored and shared on web albulms, videos stored on varous sites. Most banking is done on-line now. Even television and phone can be run over an IP connection. Other than games and specialized applications what do you need all that processing power for?

Why buy all the hardware of a normal computer when all most people do is run a web browser? The iPhone already has a good one and look how simple it's processor is. Let Google or MS or Apple buy the expensive servers and storage arrays. You rent space and resources and with any number of simple devices can access your pictures, music, e-mail, web pages, and even documents anywhere at any time.

I don't think this OS is about what you're going to use on your next PC as much as it's about what companies are going to run on their servers to let them move more of their programs off of dedicated PCs.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 10:29:03 AM , Rating: 2
There is too much to account for architecturally to put this in homes. While Google's storage service is a reality that some people will use it, adoption has been slow and there has been problems. In a company where we control everything from chair to server its easy to set it all up and make it work. Unfortunately even a cloud based OS would suffer similar problems to what we have currently which is with software and environment problems in the OS. Offloading it to the cloud simply means your ability to troubleshoot and resolve is limited from the home, forcing Microsoft to handle more support on their end. In a company we prefer this since fixing things remotely costs less than doing desk side visits, but since Microsoft does not handle desk side problems on site, their costs would skyrocket.


RE: Likely won't work
By 306maxi on 7/31/2008 10:52:37 AM , Rating: 5
The thing about Google is.... do you trust them? Google's business is purely information based. IE they'd love to know everything about you and invade your privacy if it would help them target ads at you to make them money. Microsoft on the other hand are happy to just sell you an OS, office package or whatever and NOT know about your genital wart problem and send you ads about how you can rid yourself of genital warts in just three easy steps!

This doesn't mean I trust Microsoft 100% but I sure trust them a lot more than I do Google.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 11:44:25 AM , Rating: 3
I think many people are oblivious to this. Look no further than people going ballistic when the government tracks something, yet they sign up by the bus load at their local grocery store for those "savings cards" that track their buying habits for the same purposes.


RE: Likely won't work
By lightfoot on 7/31/2008 12:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but the government doesn't give you BOGO specials on Medicare!

Add a discount or a raffle to the tracking card and people will be all for it.

If you gave people a 1 in a million chance of an early retirement with every time they used their SSN Card they would swipe it everywhere they got the chance!


RE: Likely won't work
By Oregonian2 on 7/31/2008 2:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
No problem. With this "scheme" the government will be able to (and probably will) be scanning every file, every document, every quicken or equivalent bank program's data, every temp-file, each and everything you have, own, or think. 1984 vaporware finally delivered.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 3:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
They can already do that at the NSA, the problem lies in analysis of the data collected. That is currently a problem to which they have not yet come up with a solution. The NSA sucks up incredible amounts of data, yet lacks the ability to analyze it and organize it in a fashion to make it accessible by the right people/teams at the right time.


RE: Likely won't work
By Oregonian2 on 7/31/2008 8:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
The NSA computers have easy access to the contents of everybody's desktop computers now, even those not networked? They can analyze every letter written, printed, and snail-mailed domestically?

In the system being talked about the diskspace is all "local" to them and the huge compute-power also is there in the cloud along with that diskspace. Nice and centralized to pick through everything efficiently and quickly. Also allows them to change what you think in your files as they fit as well.


RE: Likely won't work
By SlyNine on 7/31/2008 9:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well no, But his point is still valid. With the some what limited data they do have on hand, they still cannot process it, organize it, and give it to the people that need it. What would having more data thrown on them help.

I understand your point, it does "potentially" give them more power.


RE: Likely won't work
By frobizzle on 7/31/2008 12:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
There is a contradiction here. On the one hand, you say that this cloud computing is eventually targeted for the home user. The problem is that nearly every week, there are articles on Dailytech about bandwidth limitations and caps and so forth, ISPs crying that they don't have enough bandwidth. Cloud computing is just going to require more bandwidth, not less.

You can't have it both ways, folks!


RE: Likely won't work
By geddarkstorm on 8/1/2008 10:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
Reminds more of those "home of tomorrow" promises from the 50s.


RE: Likely won't work
By tspinning on 7/31/2008 9:27:01 AM , Rating: 2
And a great way to ease desk side support issues. A very simple box, running everything remote... hum, sounds like Citrix!

If only we could start piping apps that traditionally require workstations to run, or find a better way to move high density images (high resolution) to these remote screens we could be back to dummy terminals where the user had a most minimal impact on their workstation and a truly mobile (within the organization) office experience.

Who's turn to get the machine in front of the window?

In the enterprise computing structure this is great, but where will it leave laptop/mobile users? Bandwidth will dictate the success or total scalability even in a business world where we (currently) rely on road warriors to do our sales and marketing.


RE: Likely won't work
By nosfe on 7/31/2008 9:21:48 AM , Rating: 1
well, i don't know about you guys but i'm getting 2mb/s and no bandwidth limit for about $11(including 19% tax) here in Romania for quite some time now


RE: Likely won't work
By tastyratz on 7/31/2008 10:14:46 AM , Rating: 2
I get 20 megs for 40 bux with fios... but look at Japan if you REALLY want to see true cheap net with absurd speeds


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 10:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
Speed Japan has, bandwidth is another question entirely. The two are not mutual.


RE: Likely won't work
By Alexstarfire on 7/31/2008 11:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
True, but you also can't say that a FIOS line has the same capacity as a phone line. So they aren't mutually inclusive, but they aren't mutually exclusive. At best it gives you an indication on the bandwidth that they do have, but not an exact number.


RE: Likely won't work
By JediJeb on 7/31/2008 11:53:06 AM , Rating: 2
But where I live I get 45kbps over dialup for $10 per month, or I could get satelite for $80 per month with bandwith caps and loss of signal every time it rains. I don't think this would ever work for me.


RE: Likely won't work
By SlyNine on 7/31/2008 9:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
look around for two way radio services, many of them have upgraded to provide internet. I cannot get Cable, DSL, or any land based internet. But this microwave antana gives me 2megs a second up and 1 meg down. not great but I could still be on ISDN. or worse, 24k.


RE: Likely won't work
By jconan on 7/31/2008 11:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
With 2mb/s that is pretty slow. Think about it with a cap, while streaming there'd be a delay between OS and data. If you were moving a lot 3D data plus, audio and video that basically halts the whole system as it does with Vista.


RE: Likely won't work
By othercents on 7/31/2008 10:44:55 AM , Rating: 2
Cloud computing will reduce the bandwidth needed to people's homes and will allow those who don't have the money to buy computers and internet services to just get a cloud computing terminal setup in their house with internet access for about the same price we are paying for DSL.

You need to know that cloud computing is just like the old Unix mainframe terminals. There isn't any hardware or there is minimal hardware at the endpoint locations and all you are doing is basically running Terminal Services or Citrix to the end point hardware. Granted this hardware won't be capable of many things including gaming just because the hardware isn't made for those things. However most people don't need all that extra performance you would get out of a traditional system. Those that do won't want to use Cloud computing (unless you have a separate system for the kids).

For security, well both Citrix and Terminal Services have encryption built in. This will be the same with the Cloud computing. The only place there could be a major issue is at the server especially since when it gets hacked then everyone's data on that system will be vulnerable. Right now that same data is spread out over multiple systems. Another nice feature should be parental controls and separate log-ins for children just like AOL has, but over the whole system without the ability to circumvent the system.

Cloud computing is a step forward to reducing bandwidth, but the top 10% of people who use all the bandwidth won't want to use cloud computing. Especially if security keeps you from downloading songs from anywhere except a valid paid service.

Other


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 12:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cloud computing will reduce the bandwidth needed to people's homes
How do you come to that conclusion? It will infact increase the required bandwidth to each home. Let me lay it out for you.
-Boot up the terminal, it goes out and pulls down your profile from the cloud. This required bandwidth. Everytime you open a file even if you open the same file each day, it will download itself again and then upload itself back each time you save it or close it.
-Streaming media. Here's a big one, yea it will stream to the cloud first, but it still needs to deliver every single byte to your terminal so you can watch it. Then what if you want to watch it again tomorrow, it needs to repeat that process.
-Applications. Let's say you go to the store and get the latest version of Turbo Tax. Now you go home and want to load it, either you buy it through the google cloud and they deliver it to your system (best method), or you need to "install it" which requires uploading all the bits to the server. The problem is that digital distribution is still in its infancy and is still incomplete at best (STEAM, Direct2Drive, EA Store, Xbox Live, etc...). Connections like ADSL which have abysmal upload speeds are going to suffer under cloud computing. SDSL, Cable, FIOS, will be better suited.

quote:
will allow those who don't have the money to buy computers and internet services to just get a cloud computing terminal setup in their house with internet access for about the same price we are paying for DSL.

Not likely. You will go out to best buy, buy your cloud terminal for $399.99. It needs a CPU, RAM, possibly even a small flash disk for caching files, a power supply, graphics processor. Heck the only thing you've really eliminated here is the need for a discrete graphics card, high powered CPU, and a hard disk. The rest still need to be there. Your internet provider might partner to sell you an internet service at the time you buy your cloud terminal, but you still need a separate internet service. I could see cable/internet providers tacking on an additional "fee" to "rent" a cloud terminal from them (See: Renting cable modem).

quote:
For security, well both Citrix and Terminal Services have encryption built in. This will be the same with the Cloud computing.

Indeed, security over the communication channel would not be all that difficult. Security for logging in and accessing your profile is another question. Then what happens if someone forgets it, or doesn't want to use a password like most people these days at home? Yea, theres more support costs.

Cloud computing for home users promises to be a very lucrative support business, and very expensive to maintain.


RE: Likely won't work
By Alexstarfire on 7/31/2008 11:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I may not agree with the guy on the bandwidth usage, but he's got it right with it being cheaper to buy the hardware needed. You'd practically be able to just send everything through the router. You'd need a monitor, mouse, keyboard...... and perhaps the world's cheapest CPU to run it on. Perhaps a small cache or buffer, but RAM/flash is very cheap. You wouldn't even need 512MB, which is as small as it gets now.

In the long run it's not going to help though. It's going to be like most cell phone companies are now. You don't pay crap for the hardware, but pay out the ass just for the service, whether you use it or not. And if you overuse it, they'll do what ISPs are doing now, limit it.


RE: Likely won't work
By othercents on 8/1/2008 11:50:17 AM , Rating: 2
The systems we are using right now for cloud computing only require a network card, processor, minimum ram (512mb), and maybe 1gig of space. This cost us about $100 per machine not including monitor which even if we are talking $200 per machine it is possible for a company to subsidize this in return for a 2 year service contract.

We don't stream any data to the computer other than screen shots like a Citrix system does, so there is no storage of data on the local system everything is remote. In my experience with using a cloud system we have required less bandwidth than a typical desktop system especially since the data between server and desktop can be compressed and decompressed at a better rate.

How Microsoft decides to implement might be different and only time will tell especially since they will be looking at managing thousands of users with one system while I deal with 20-30 users.

Other


RE: Likely won't work
By omnicronx on 7/31/2008 11:40:44 AM , Rating: 4
Why does one automatically assume that project is designed solely to work over the internet. It would be amazing if all end-users needed was low end computer to run high end applications over a network. Even for home use think of the possibilities of having a central high powered server that all the clients or in this case family members run their software from.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 12:23:59 PM , Rating: 2
This is already possible today if you know what your doing.


RE: Likely won't work
By omnicronx on 7/31/2008 12:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but it is not seamless, and the end-user's computer still has to be capable of running the program, unless you are using some sort of RDP app such as what is available in Windows Server 2008. Even then there is latency involved and it does not always work correctly.


RE: Likely won't work
By omnicronx on 7/31/2008 12:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
I also do not deny that this technology doesnt exist, but it must be greatly expanded upon if it is ever to reach the home or even small business market. As it currently stands, cluster computing is left for the big boys to play with.


RE: Likely won't work
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 12:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
No argument there, the best method so far is using application delivered and virtualized via WISE or another packing software. This of course requires an application server, computing power, a domain or workgroup, and login accounts. Yes, unless you really know your stuff its not easy.


RE: Likely won't work
By AntiM on 7/31/2008 1:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking the same thing. MS may be pinning their hopes on much better broadband environment than the one we have available to us today. However, if recent trends continue, in three years, we will be paying more money for less bandwidth along with caps. WiFi might prove me wrong.

I could more easily see such a concept in a corporate environment. I think thin client is the way of the future for large corporations.


RE: Likely won't work
By Aloonatic on 8/1/2008 5:01:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not really sure what we are talking about here.

From most of the comments it seems that we are looking at a thin client type system rather than distributed processing, folding-at-home type system, letting you tap into extra power as and when it's needed?

Seems that all data will be uploaded into the cloud either way however.

Large corps will want to keep everything in-house. Can you imagine a company like Enron wanting their info out there in "the cloud"???

Medium companies mite be tempted.

Small companies will be mistrusting and sceptical (as always) so will be reluctant, even though they are the businesses that could benefit the most. They probably just stick to the hotch-potch systems that they have now.

It's a non starter for home users from what I can see.

Processing and storage is all pretty cheap already and OSs have matured to the point where people can do most of what they want easily and quickly. Is why most people don't see the need to go to Vista now, XP does most of what they need. MS should stick to refining and releasing security updates which people pay for (have heard people describe Vista as this) a they have to make money somewhere.

A low power (watts, not FLOPS) Atom Duo/mibile processor, with a fair sized HD (SSD?) based system in a Dell like (pretty?) coloured case will be nice and cheap and "fit for purpose" in a few years time.

Most people only want to surf the net, e-mail, save photos, write angry letters to the editor and do a bit of simple home accounting on a spread sheet.

There's no need for distributed processing for this, and who will want to upload photos of their kids/grand kids into the cloud when we know that every second person out there is a pedo* just biding their time to see a photo of your child and then will track them down and abduct them.

Third party content sharing over the web apps are out there for free right now and people will be much happier having their images/data on their machine and in control of what is shared and when.

It would spell the end of PC gaming and everyone will be playing on the PS4, xBox720.

In fact, the consoles may well do everything that most people want and more. If the PS3 had a few more simple applications and came with a keyboard and mouse it could easily do what most people want right now. I'm sure MS could do that with the xBox too, if they wanted to, tho they would be competing with themselves perhaps?

All in all, it seems like a non starter when you take into account the bandwidth/traffic issues discussed elsewhere.

People didn't like the change that Vista has given them (whilst ironically also saying that it's not different enough?) so getting home users to transfer to this idea will be haaaaaard work.

The all controlling Big Brother British Government will love the idea however. They will probably be looking into extending this to allow them to monitor our thoughts and memories and upload those to "the cloud" too.

* Not sure what things are like in the States, but people are so hysterical now that someone called the police because 2 old ladies in their 70s were taking photos in a empty public park and they were accused of being paedophiles. There weren't any kids within a mile of there???


RE: Likely won't work
By iFX on 7/31/2008 4:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With the likelyhood of bandwidth capped internet connections becoming reality in the next 5-10 years, cloud-computing would never survive in the consumer world.


Somehow I just don't see this happening. Sure there has been some talk about it and there is testing going on in limited markets, but with the ever increasing amount of data being transfered I think the ISPs are only going to grow their bandwidth, not restrict it.

I think in the next 5-10 years we will see streaming HD video services take off and the ISPs are going to have to adapt, or go out of business, otherwise a single company would absorb all the customers when they offer "unlimited" service.


RE: Likely won't work
By fibreoptik on 8/4/2008 11:28:26 PM , Rating: 1
"Likely won't work"

Stole the words right out of my mouth. +1 =)

M$ is not capable of making anything that "works". They are experts at making bloated shit that crashes for no reason at any given time, all the while not providing any sort of real support.


Dear Microsoft - Focus on functionality working
By jhb116 on 7/31/2008 10:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how other consumers feel but I would prefer that you spend less time reorganizing menus for new "looks and feels" and spend more time making functions that exist better, ie they just work, and making sure new functions work well as possible. I use both XP and Vista and get annoyed at having to remember different methods of getting basic tasks complete - I have enough to remember in my day-to-day life. How about that CD writting tech - it has been around for many years now and still doesn't act like a floppy when you have a xD-RW in the drive. Why buy Roxio or similiar products?

Media Center is another example of something that kind-of works if you know how to force it. On one hand it is difficult for it to just download a guide - do I really need a cable or some other hook up to get this to work - what if I just want to be reminded my favorite TV show is starting? Media center would be natural for that versus setting up a note or calendar item. Go Old School with a zip code - give me a list I can choose from and I'm done. Yahoo does it. Others do as well - why is this difficult with Media Center? On the other hand - the integration with the XBox 360 is awesome (with media center) - I spent zero time figuring it out - just hook up the two devices on the same router/switch and each pops up msg. Can't get much easier than that and it works!!

In summary - spend your time making optical disk reading/writting, media center and other "old" technologies "just work" rather than worrying about new menu structures. Just leave them alone. Thank you.




By thebrown13 on 7/31/2008 10:40:41 AM , Rating: 4
Or they could just focus on both, which is what they have been doing.


By fibreoptik on 8/4/2008 11:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
right. both.

what planet have you been living on?


RE: Dear Microsoft - Focus on functionality working
By Pirks on 7/31/2008 6:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
spend your time making optical disk reading/writting, media center and other "old" technologies "just work" rather than worrying about new menu structures
[gawking at the ugly uncomfortable horizontally-non-resizable Windows command prompt and comparing it with functional and intuitive OS X terminal beauty] Yeah, you wish :P No, seriously - just forget it, period. MS is known for its user unterface ugliness, this is their genetical trait. They never fix ugly looking Windows problems, just pile up new ones. I wonder if Midori is going to have the same ugly command prompt window as it is now in Windows. I won't be surprised at all if it does!


By Alexstarfire on 7/31/2008 11:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Ummmmm, who uses the command prompt that often?


Why do i get a longhorn feeling ?
By William Gaatjes on 7/31/2008 12:14:53 PM , Rating: 1
Promises promises promises.

Why do i get a longhorn feeling ?




RE: Why do i get a longhorn feeling ?
By William Gaatjes on 7/31/2008 7:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
No seriously, Can anybody rememeber the xbox or the xbox360. When you have this, what do you need more ? It already not much different then a pc.
The game console will turn into this terminal like machine.
Afcourse it is a standalone device with it's own small local storage. But this is what microsoft see as a future. I always knew microsoft went in the the console business not for the money. But for the amount of control they can have over what you do with that console. Micorsoft sees the future of content on demand. And there is only one way to control this. With a propriarity device with a propriarity os. The console ! Console on gameservers are not that much different as what is described in the article.

I read somewhere that Steve Jobs has a lot of influence in the music industry because of the succes of itunes and the ipod. Microsoft is betting on hollywood in case you have not noticed.


By William Gaatjes on 8/1/2008 8:12:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I always knew microsoft went in the the console business not for the money. But for the amount of control they can have over what you do with that console.


I need to clarify this.
Afcourse there would be profit made, but not primary from the sales of consoles but from all the services around it. Extra benefit is that this is a tight system, it is more easy to control the software and the content on it.


By fibreoptik on 8/4/2008 11:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
maybe you shouldn't be sharing that with strangers on the internet...


Codename
By AnnihilatorX on 7/31/2008 11:37:46 AM , Rating: 2
I do think Cumulus is a better suited codename than Midori. since when are clouds green? :)




RE: Codename
By johnsonx on 7/31/2008 12:04:02 PM , Rating: 3
Midori is great stuff: chicks will drink anything with Midori in it, it helps get them nice and frisky.

I don't recall any Microsoft product getting anyone frisky, at least no one besides monkey-boy Ballmer.


If ISP's were not moving in the opposite direction
By dreddly on 7/31/2008 8:43:29 AM , Rating: 3
Thanks to widespread high speed internet, an internet-connected box communicating remotely with hardware can perform visually approximately as well as a box with dedicated hardware.

Too bad most ISP's are moving toward limited bandwidth and per usage systems of payment, I wonder if the cost savings will be offset by long-term payments for bandwidth.




By retrospooty on 7/31/2008 9:12:18 AM , Rating: 1
Its not for home users... Its a business thing.


KO before the fight began?
By vapore0n on 7/31/2008 10:34:22 AM , Rating: 2
So is Microsoft giving up on virtualization already?




By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/31/2008 1:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
Virtualization in a cloud environment would be quite handy I think. Virtualizing multiple OS environments at the application layer and putting them all in a nicely packaged cloud OS would be well, kick ass.


Interesting
By Novaoblivion on 7/31/2008 10:49:24 AM , Rating: 2
I think it will be pretty interesting to see what Microsoft can do if they build an OS from the ground up. I wonder if it will feature a lot of green? Sorry bad joke but I had too :p




RE: Interesting
By JoshuaBuss on 7/31/2008 11:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
microsoft builds new OSes from the ground up regularly as part of their research projects. singularity was one of the best though..


Scary
By TomCorelis on 7/31/2008 11:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you, but this idea of "cloud computing" scares the living crap out of me. How quick we are to sell our souls and our sense of ownership to corporate overlords, who are only too willing to get consumers hooked on a rental model, rather than an ownership model, for using computer software. Why do we hate having property so much?




RE: Scary
By JediJeb on 7/31/2008 12:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. Whats to keep the ones running the server from suddenly raising the prices to use it? If you are about to bid a big contract and MS says you owe us $1000 for this months service or you can't access your data, what is your option? For home users, if your credit card is over the limit and you can't pay your subscription, does that mean you can't use your browser to pay your credit card online?

To me this would be like me paying Ford $20 every tiem I open the door of my truck to go somewhere instead of owning it outright, then when leaving work find out they have raised the price and I now have to pay $50 to get home. lol


In 2012....
By hr824 on 8/3/2008 1:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
The cloud computing clusters will become self aware. In 2013 it will launch an attack on the carbon based "virus" that infects the planet.




RE: In 2012....
By Griswold on 8/6/2008 10:22:38 AM , Rating: 2
I think one of the botnets will beat it to that.


Ebb and Flow of Terminal Based Computing
By whirabomber on 7/31/2008 10:29:58 AM , Rating: 1
During pre-network everyone had a PC then coax networks came along and peoples minds started wandering towards terminal based user PCs then networks got cheaper and everyone (read business' and campus' IT) went for the terminal pc. Then windows took hold and text based user side computing died and then everyone moved to the desktop PC. Now the networks have caught up and someone is spouting "cloud computing will save us" so terminal based pcs are looking pretty again.

Some clustering environments are already "clouds" as POSIX compliant clients are installed on PCs that are tasked jobs when not busy doing other things. So I don't see what is so ground breaking about MS' announcement/new fangled OS other than MS says they are doing it.

Really, anyone with a multi-pc home could go out now and download enough linux open source software to do a decent home "cloud" computing environment without having to wait for MS to get around to commercializing "cloud."

Of course, the "cloud" os will give at least one person a claim to fame - first "cloud" virus author.




By Aloonatic on 8/1/2008 5:26:00 AM , Rating: 2
"The Cloud" could save the bot-net* writers a lot of trouble/work in trying to get it distributed?

* or whatever the successor which did the same thing would be called as there wouldn't really be a "bot-net" if everyone uses a terminal.


Fact Checking
By TomZ on 7/31/2008 10:00:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The new OS is built on Microsoft Research's Singularity experimental OS, an entirely new OS codebase created but not yet publicly released.

Incorrect; the source for Singularity was released some time ago: http://www.codeplex.com/singularity

Also, Jason, how do you know that they will not use the Windows brand for this when it is released as a product? The new OS has not been named yet, and I would point to other "non-Windows" products that Microsoft has that carry the Windows name, e.g., Windows Live.




Have i got this right?
By aatnet on 7/31/2008 10:40:24 AM , Rating: 2
hi from greece. I'm not at all familiar with the concept of cloud computing but as i understand it is meant to provide far more than today's software-as-a-service applications. In my imaginary future home computing devices of various types are able to share their processing and storage capacities with each other so that when for example my PDA does not have the power necessary to perform a complex task it recruits resources from a nearby device (the fridge perhaps :-P). From a user's point of view it will not be clear at all where that "storage" or "processing" came from hence the term "cloud". At least that's how i interpret it when it says support of P2P connections and considering that our homes may soon be full of wirelessly connected devices -not computers in the usual sense- that would be awesome. Some even predict that the whole human civilization is to be eventually transformed into some form of collective intelligence (running "Windows Borg Business Edition" :-P). Sorry for any mistakes in language




ISSUES
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/31/2008 10:48:51 AM , Rating: 2
- Want to be part of the cloud? You'll surely have to pay a monthly fee (or are they gonna put huge servers for free?). In the long run, any monthly fee, no matter how cheap, will be more expensive than local, mainstream/low end hardware that can be good for several years without need to be upgraded (I'm not among those, but I know many of them for whom anything better than an Athlon XP to just use MS Office and browse the net will yield no benefit at all).

- Video intensive tasks. Like gaming and watching movies... Simply not feasible over a cloud.

- Data privacy. No storage service is private enough for sensitive data compared to a local HDD.

Anyways, as others had said, this is actually good for business as it keeps maintenance costs lower, software upgrades can be much better implemented and you instantly have all of your clients using the same version for every corporate program you need.

PLUS, for sneaky employees will be much harder to steal corporate information.




I like the idea...
By ZaethDekar on 7/31/2008 1:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
However I agree with some of the comments about a home system.

I would love to be able to have everything stored in our IT closet instead of having each person with their own. The only issue I would have is gaming but I doubt on a 1 Gb Lan it would be an issue. That way for upgrades it helps us all instead of just 1 person.

However I also think Hotels would benefit immensly. Instead of paying for a wireless internet in all the rooms... I wonder if it would be able to have an IRC style connection where you choose the server and room. That way buisness employees could log into their corporate servers from them while the normal home user would have their normal connection and be able to log on and upload pictures or whatever from their hotel room after a long day out.

I am excited to see where this takes off to.

I still think it would be awesome to have an OS that is like a game. Load up windows and instead of icons that you double click, you just change weapons and shoot at it. Want to copy? Select that gun. May not be efficent, but I guarentee it would sell. Specially if you could change to top down view and have it be like an RTS style OS haha.




Software Installs
By Lanister on 7/31/2008 1:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
How would a cloud setup work for home use when I want to install and play The 7th Guest or some other un-common application.

What about programs that I write myself, would I be able to install them whenever I wanted on a server that is shared by X number of other users? If I could then whats to stop me from easily installing a virus or some other form of malicious app? Or am I going to have to submit my apps for approval from some group before I can install anything?

Maybe I am not fully understanding the concept but it just doesnt make any sense to me why I would not just use a local desktop that way I have full control over my computer and what I do with it.

I could maybe see this is a good way of making sure everyone has access to a computer, all you need is minimal hardware and a connection and your kids can do homework and whatnot on it but for any sort of "power user" I just dont see how this setup would work.




By jeremyandrews on 7/31/2008 5:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
Any nix heads out there? This sounds suspiciously like the distributed processing of threads model that openmosix does under linux. Unfortunately openmosix was abandoned earlier this year because of the supposedly far superior approaches possible with virtualmachines. Maybe openmosix could have its day again as a cloud OS? comments?




Re-creating the wheel?
By croc on 7/31/2008 9:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing's new in this idea, it's just a re-work of the days of green screen consoles, (VT 220's were the schniz!) then the idea of 'thin client, thick server' applications and 'diskless workstations'. Corporates are already doing this internally, but somehow I just can't see me using this technology on a personal level.

(And Mick, you need to proof for grammer a bit better....)




Will this run...
By flydian on 7/31/2008 9:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
...on my old AS400 terminal? You know, the one with the 13" monochrome green-on-black display?




This is some scary stuff here
By MarioJP on 8/1/2008 5:02:18 PM , Rating: 2
This is not good at all. Where does one draw the line between freedom and business. I am sorry but having my stuff stored in cloud is not a good idea. As it stands now we don't know what we are dealing here as it is just speculations and ideas. I can really see this very effective for the corporate world but for home use sounds scary if you ask me. This will also spell disaster for PC gaming and the end of modding your rigs. I don't like consoles so cloud is not any different than consoles except its now locking down everything that we take for granted now.




By roadrun777 on 8/2/2008 8:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
For business applications and companies, this is like liquid gold. Having applications that can harness the power of the entire cluster is absolutely the right way to go.
I think where their greed may short circuit the idea is that they will undoubtedly tie this to some master/slave concept and require specialized servers in the cluster, then require large amounts of licensing fees. I think this is also about DRM, they want to be able to control everything you do on the PC and everything you store on it.
For the personal user, this is not something that will be accepted. The idea of storing all their precious home movies and personal photos on a web companies servers will send people reeling from this. They won't trust the company, even if they "promise" not to peek or distribute your stuff.
There is only one way this will succeed outside the "enterprise" environment. The kernel needs to be agnostic. It shouldn't care if the distributed resources are many core cpus or clustered many core cpus. Meaning that local resources take priority, then the cluster is used only when advantageous. On the data side, the core should not require cloud like storage either. I don't particularly like the idea of storing my personal sexy time pics on MS's cloud server. You can't market distributed storage based on brand trust, it will fail. Personal users and businesses won't trust Company A to not peek at their data, especially if Company A has something to gain by looking at it. Conflict of interest. Why would Company B store IP, unfinished media, or non-patented ideas on a Company A's cloud server when Company B is it's rival. You see what I mean?




By Wheelz on 8/3/2008 10:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
It would be about 10 years ago (may have been longer) that Bill Gates announced his vision of the future :- "The Microsoft PC".

Summary: You buy an MS PC with no HDD (or a really small one for your personal docs) and plug it into power and your phone socket. When you turn it on it asks for your choice of OS, it load this from a "local" MS Server and then gives a list of MS Applications and again you choose what you want to use for this session. You will later receive an account for X hours of Windows 95, X hours of Word and X hours of Excel. You only pay for what you use and how long you user it. No actual licenseing and no chance of piracy, but also no chance of using anything other than MS software an OSs as well as total control (not ours) over all functions of the machine.
And this was in the era of 33K dial-up!

To me it sounds like Bill's plan is starting to come together..... for better or worse?




lol Bandwidth.
By Spectator on 8/4/2008 4:40:19 AM , Rating: 2
Yes im sure some remote cluster is going to provide me with..

2560x1600 32bit display data at 60fps

is that like 15.625mb per frame? * 60 = 937.5mb a second worth of bandwidth. (rough guess i may have worked it out wrong)

That sht would be cool for downloading dubious stuff from the internet though. If isp's go for it. Chukkle.




BSOD
By Screwballl on 7/31/2008 1:14:07 PM , Rating: 1
yeah I know some of you have been waiting for any comment relating to a BSOD...

Just what we need, all of our life on some server out on the internet and our internet connection is down so we have no access to our files...
or the server is down and loses our files (read WHS type bug)...

I see computers as relating to vehicles (cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles)... we like having the freedom to do whatever we want whenever we want.
This cloud computing is the equivalent of everyone using the bus to go 1/2 a mile to the grocery store... and having to carry everything in their own hands for a family of 4... there will be limits on number of riders, caps on usage, and a cost just to use the lines. Multiple riders/connections will cost more money for more usage. Those with their own car/computer can haul as much as they want in one or more trips, store the stuff locally in their own vehicle, and have access to the items within the vehicle, even if it is out of gas (internet or server down). You can do the bad things in your own vehicle provided you don't get caught.

I say no thanks, I like having to fend for myself and not relying on others to hold/store my stuff, legal or not. I see this as another way to keep an eye on what people are doing and prevent them from "fair-use" and illegal activities. I suspect RIAA and MPAA is behind this in some way, or at least supporting the idea and giving suggestions as to content scanning on stores data to make sure no illegal content is stored.




Without me!
By Griswold on 8/6/2008 10:21:23 AM , Rating: 1
Oh yea, I'm looking forward to all these fucking ad companies (yes, that also means you, Google) and government agencies around the globe to know every fucking detail of my life because all my stuff is stored elsewhere and/or streamed from a pool of data to me.

Not in my lifetime, suckers! If I have to, I'll stick to ancient hardware with an ancient OS until I bite the dust, should this roll over the IT world. God damn bastards...




"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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