Microsoft's new OS for cloud computing
According to Wikipedia, "Windows Azure is the name of the upcoming cloud-based operating system ("cloud" is a metaphor for the Internet) being developed by Microsoft, announced by Ray Ozzie at the Microsoft PDC on October 27, 2008.
Google, and the range of Google applications, have long pointed out that the future of software is the cloud. Empowered by always on portable connected devices, like the iPhone and the Android mobile device platform. Phones and portable computers are merging into a mobile computing platform that is neither a mere phone nor a laptop computer and is more than both. Wired together, using high speed telcom technologies like 3G, and using real-time Web technologies like Jabber and Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). The Web is becoming more synchronous and cloud computing is a huge part of that.
Installing software is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. There will be no need. Our applications will be in the cloud! All users will need to do is to be there. The good news is they will be. They already are.
It will be interesting to see where Microsoft goes with Azure. Educators need to watch this type of technology. It will likely be mainstream by the time today's freshmen graduate. If we are not there, where will our students be? We gotta get our heads beyond e-mail and Web pages and into and wrapped around; the cloud.