3. Microsoft: Long-range vision
Microsoft may be a little late to the party, but never underestimate the company’s ability to get it right eventually. The pieces certainly aren’t all there today, but experts say Microsoft has probably the most ambitious approach to cloud computing. Consider these assets: state-of-the-art data centers, the Hyper-V virtualization product, a PaaS offering (
), an IaaS offering (Windows Azure Fabric Controller) a SaaS offering (SharePoint Online,
, CRM Online), a search engine (Bing), a browser (IE), and a pre-existing development platform (.NET). With 90% of the world on Outlook/Windows/Office, Microsoft, if it executes, has the potential to use it vast gravitational field to slowly pull customers into its cloud.