Microsoft’s CTO Ray Ozzie thinks the challenge from Google, particularly its “cloud-based services,” i.e., services that are hosted and delivered over the public Internet, has been a wake-up call for the giant software firm. Quoted in Dan Farber’s blog entry, Ozzie: Google a rallying point for Microsoft, Ozzie differentiates between Google’s more public business model and Microsoft’s private enterprise orientation. A cloud-based service like GMail may not be acceptable in an enterprise environment, Ozzie notes. He also points out that Microsoft’s MSN service provides a substantial data-center operaton and presence in delivering cloud-based services.
One of Google’s primary strategies has been to offer free products and services which act as delivery vehicles for advertisements. Ozzie threw out the possibility that Microsoft could offer advertising-funded software for small businesses and consumers.
Microsoft has reinvented itself before, and it will be interesting to see how the current transition develops.