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Microsoft turns cloud threat into opportunity

17 Jun 2010

During the fourth quarter of Microsoft’s financial year, over 90,000 staff members took the day off to participate in cloud training. With Microsoft’s annual wage bill thought to be in the region of US$3.7 billion, the training exercise cost the company close to $15million in lost time, so it’s an area of business that’s clearly important.

Locally the company has been rolling out training for key channel partners and is planning significantly more channel training next month.

Microsoft New Zealand Partner Director Brent Colbert claims that, with the exception of a couple of small components, over 95% of Microsoft solutions can now be delivered through the cloud.

He also said that Microsoft has real heritage in the cloud, having run the Hotmail email service with many millions of simultaneous users, for over 14 years.

The company’s focus extends to its new cloud-based system management tool, Windows Intune, which is currently in beta. The tool allows administrators to centrally manage a large group of Windows 7 PCs through the cloud without the need for a server.

Can Microsoft migrate its desktop-based solutions to the cloud without losing customers to competitors like Google on the way?

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