The Third Windows

Microsoft has reorganized its server and tools division, something that was pending since the departure of Bob Muglia. The key announcement is Scott Guthrie moving into the Azure division in Somasegar’s words since:

we need a strong leader to help drive the development of our Cloud Application Platform and help us win developers for Azure

Scott G has a huge following in the software development circles and bringing him on board is a symbolic move in addition to a strategic one for the company. Cloud computing has momentum behind it and the impact will be felt in the enterprise and consumer market in coming years.

With OS X Lion, Steve Jobs said that features from iOS will be coming into OS X and when talking about using mobile devices (phone+tablet) they are used in complement to the desktop. Windows 8 has Windows Live integration and Windows Phone 7.5 (whenever available to download for AT&T Samsung Focus in 2013) includes SkyDrive integration. The point being, that Windows Phone is an extension of the PC Windows.

The cloud however is becoming a segment within itself and the cloud OS is another product crucial to Microsoft. Smart phones need the Internet to be as powerful as they can be, the user doesn’t need to be bothered by what’s happening, they want their data whether they are on a mobile device (tablet+phone) or desktop. My hypothesis, the three Windows now are:

  1. Windows Consumer (desktop, tablet & phone)
  2. Windows Server
  3. Windows Azure

The cloud is the third leg that will tie computing on phone, tablet & desktop across the personal & the work network. The reshuffle announcement comes along with the RC release of Windows Thin PC, which, I believe the industry should look at as a cost effective solution since the data will be available over the cloud as a result not all machines need to be powerful desktops.

Microsoft realizes the role Azure will play in the consumer and enterprise markets, which is why Scott Guthrie’s addition to the Azure team signifies Microsoft’s seriousness with Azure.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years Windows Azure will replace Windows Server.