For Microsoft, 2010 is a platform building and marketing year with no less than the future success of its cloud strategy hanging in the balance, according to observers.
Experts say Microsoft's charge is not only to begin developing and delivering technology that will define its external, internal and hybrid cloud environments, but to clearly articulate to an overwhelming majority of corporate IT pros just how and why they want to live in a cloud.
In addition, there will have to be answers to questions around such issues as security, compliance and performance from those very users.
"In terms of the cloud, it is important for Microsoft to be on the right trajectory, it's not necessarily important to their business from a revenue standpoint to capture lots of revenue out of cloud in the next 24 months," says Al Gillen, program vice president for system software at IDC. "But if they don't get in line to compete, they put themselves at a significant risk of being not there when real money starts to get spent in this space."
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