Posts Tagged ‘Azure’

2010: The Year and Decade for 4 Screens and a Cloud

January 4, 2010

Rob Enderle’s blog post has it right. 2010 will be the year and start of the cloud decade.

I’d like to take it a step further. The coming wave of ubiquitous ‘democratized’ data services with eager clients waiting to consume will take the internet to a dramatic new level. Microsoft’s three screens and a cloud vision speaks to it but I believe its more about “4 screens with data services”. I consider the data services to be more relevant. The cloud is the engine but the 24/7 data services it provides will be life changing/business transforming.

Thanks to 3G, pending 4G and whatever comes after, the data services will come from highly reliable mobile data pipes that can be consumed while driving a car, riding a bicycle, at the doctor’s office or exercising at the gym.

The data services are democratized because the data being provided was once only available to a select few. Opening up the data to software developers and entrepreneurs can be a catalyst for positive change. The democratization of data trend is an unstoppable force that has the power to accelerate innovation to help solve some of the world’s problems and improve the quality of life for all.

The US Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, understands the power of democratized data. He spearheaded a new web site for this called Another great example is the City of New York’s recent NYC Big Apps Contest. Microsoft is also getting involved with their new Dallas service.

Regarding the 4 screens, not 3, I expect the data services to be designed to support the following clients.


1. Large Screen 10 foot away living room experience.

2. Desktop/Tablet Screen Multi-touch Tablet and PC monitor
3. Small Screen Smartphone
(e.g., Blackberry, Palm,
iPhone, iPod Touch, Android,
Win Phone 7, ZuneHD, etc.)
4. Car Dashboard Screen This is the Ford Sync, Fiat Blue&Me,
Kia UVO and General Motors OnStar.

Listing the Car Dashboard may be a bit premature but I expect to see at least 25 million "connected" cars sold during this coming decade. In less than a year, the Microsoft Ford Sync system has already exceeded 1 million in US only sales. These systems are just starting to go global with Kia’s UVO and Fiat’s Blue&Me systems. I expect “Connected Cars” consuming mission critical data services to become the norm within 5 years.

Examples of the mission critical and revenue generating data services are the real-time location-aware contextual ads or electronic billboards. Some of this is already available in the Ford Sync system. I consider it the first commercially viable Augmented Reality solution. I expect Car Dashboard solutions to eventually provide windshield “heads up display” driving directions that can also show the nearest movie listings, nearest Thai restaurants, closest hospitals, etc.

Aside from the Car Dashboard services, data services will come in many flavors. The more popular services will be the entertainment and news services:

Video Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Boxee
Music iTunes, Pandora, Zune
Games Xbox Live, SONY Playstation Network
Books Amazon Kindle, Nook, PDF, Audible
News NY Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and all of the Radio News Feeds
Sports ESPN


There will be Quality of Life services such as:

  1. Health medical record services – HealthVault
  2. Real-time Traffic – Calculate Quickest Travel Time
  3. Air/Pollen Quality – What will the air/pollen be like on December 31st at 5:30 PM.
  4. Population Growth versus Food Supply – Expected food supply in Somalia over the next 3 years.
  5. Malaria Cases/Birth Rates/Life Expectancies by Region
  6. Violence Levels in Iraq and by Region
  7. Airport Security Wait Times – Security Check Wait Time at Gate #4 in LAX, etc.
  8. Crime Stats by Region
  9. High School Education Quality by Region


The list of potential services is endless.

Much of this data is already available but is not in a format that can be easily used or consumed by the 4 screens mentioned.

I’ll leave it to the developers and entrepreneurs to pioneer.

Ten years from now, I am confident that we’ll all be grateful for this new cloud computing/data services era.



Microsoft PDC09 Connected Show Podcast #21

December 31, 2009

Wanted to thank Peter Laudati and Dmitry Lyalin for having me on Connected Show Podcast #21 with Sara Chipps recently.

We covered a lot of ground during the podcast and Peter posted all of the relevant links.

There was a lot of great news at PDC09 but I was most fascinated by Microsoft’s support for building Java Apps with Windows Azure.

For the Java Developers out there, here’s the “Building Java Apps with Windows Azure” session.


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PDC09 Predictions/Expectations

November 17, 2009

In a few hours the 2009 PDC will officially kick off. For software developers, every PDC keynote has its share of surprise announcements. There was a rumor this morning about some Windows Mobile 7 related announcements coming this week but I doubt it.

I think Microsoft is not ready to discuss Windows Phone 7 (WP7) publicly yet. My guess is they’re shooting to make WM7 announcements on January 6th, 2010 at the CES 2010 keynote event.

NeoWin sometimes gets the inside scoop and they say Microsoft will discuss plans for IE9 and Silverlight 4 in the morning.

Regardless of surprise, the big news is the Dawn of Microsoft’s Cloud Era. It also sets a tone for Google and Amazon. Microsoft will disclose all details on their cloud strategy in the morning. Financial analysts will be listening in carefully so they can tweak their MSFT revenue forecast models.

I predict/expect Ray Ozzie to rock the house in the morning.

It’ll be a busy 3 days. I’m expecting deep dives in the following areas.

  1. IE9
  2. Silverlight 4
  3. Office Web 2010 – Is it better than Google Docs?
  4. Microsoft Web Platform –
  5. Multi-Touch Everywhere – desktops, tablets, surface computers, phones, cars, TVs, game consoles
  6. Facebook/Twitter Everywhere – desktops, tablets, surface computers, phones, cars, TVs, game consoles
  7. Visual Studio 2010 – Intellitrace, Coded UI Tests/Silverlight Test Automation
  8. Language Futures – Parallelism, Dynamic and Procedural, Dependency Injection/IOC
  9. Security Services – Windows Identity Foundation (formerly Geneva)
  10. Cloud Computing Architectures – Hybrid, Service Bus, Big Table
  11. ASP.Net MVC 2 and 2.5
  12. IIS7 and beyond –

For more info, follow this live blog in the morning.

Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Full Court Press starts November 17

October 31, 2009

The full court press to get developer’s onto the Microsoft Azure Cloud starts Tuesday, November 17th at 8:30 AM PST at the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference. I’ll be there and will be blogging as it unfolds.

I believe it’ll take at least 2 years for Azure to get the sales and usage momentum needed to be successful. As you may know, the 3 big cloud vendors; Amazon, Google and Microsoft are getting their stakes in the ground (er… cloud).

This month’s Forbes Magazine covers Microsoft’s efforts here.

It’s interesting to note that Azure will be half the cost of Amazon but Google App Engine beats them all.

The cloud computing transition is going to be big. The success of Microsoft’s Azure as well as Google and Amazon is inevitable.

I wonder how old school data center companies like AboveNet and Equinix will survive.