Microsoft has opposed an industry-wide plan to promote interoperability in cloud computing claiming. Officially it’s because the firm believes the plan is unnecessarily secretive, but there are allegations Microsoft feels threatened by the plan boosting Linux-based systems.
The ‘Open Cloud Manifesto’ will launch on Monday in New York. It’s a joint project that includes IBM, Amazon and Google among many others and aims to produce guidelines for how different operating systems should interact in cloud computing. That’s a name given to services which run online rather than on a user’s computer: think Gmail vs Microsoft Outlook for an idea.
There are many different cloud computing services available, from Google Docs to Microsoft’s Azure system to Amazon’s data storage and processing services. The goal of the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF), which has produced the manifesto, is to minimize the barriers between different technologies used in cloud computing.
Microsoft has rejected the manifesto citing two main objections. It argues that cloud computing is still at such an early stage it is impractical to develop guidelines such as these. And it believes the manifesto’s development has not been open and transparent.
However, the real reason for Microsoft’s objections may lay in a statement by the CCIF noting:
The CCIF will not condone any use of a particular technology for the purposes of market dominance and or advancement of any one particular vendor, industry or agenda. Whenever possible the CCIF will emphasis the use of open, patent-free and/or vendor-neutral technical solutions.
That’s certainly not in tune with Microsoft’s marketing plan, though to be fair it’s hardly as if CCIF members such as IBM take a free and relaxed attitude to patented technologies.
Another theory has it that Microsoft is worried the guidelines will mean open-source systems such as Linux will flourish in cloud computing, at the expense of Microsoft’s own technology.