Windows Live Core – the Software as a Service platform

By Chris | Posted March 25, 2007 3 comments

While Ray Ozzie has been keeping details of his Software as a Service platform quiet, some small bits of information are emerging from other members on his team. Two of his direct reports, David Treadwell and Amitabh Srivastava are both listed as working on developing the next generation Live services platform known as Windows Live Core:

“This start-up effort will define the vision and create the implementation for cloud-based platform services that will allow the creation of compelling applications that make deep use of network-based information.”

Other members of the Windows Live Core team that we’ve tracked down include David Cutler, who led the development of Windows, Abolade Gbadegesin, former architect of networking in Windows Vista and Elissa Murphy, Principal PM for Windows Live Core. This team has “joined Ray Ozzie to focus on next generation cloud services; to build an highly efficient computing fabric for Microsoft data centers and a services platform for agile development of high-quality cloud services.” In a question and answer with financial analysts in February, Ozzie talked about how Google helped Microsoft change its thinking about services as a platform:

 ”In the Google case, what’s fascinating to me is that although you can characterize Google as a search compete, there are two very significant things that happened at Microsoft [as a result]. One was the recognition of advertising as an economic engine,” Ozzie said. “And the other was services-based infrastructure. Once the realization was made by different groups that every product would have a services component, you go back to the company’s platform roots and figure out what kind of platform treats the services layer as a system.”

As Srivastava’s Microsoft Research page mentions, part of the work on the Windows Live Core Operating System is heavily focused on Microsoft data centers. James Hamilton, an architect on the Windows Live Core team, gave two presentations recently discussing module datacentres and how they can be used to provide economies of scale for Software as a Service. The idea of using commercial shipping containers to build high-scale datacenters seems rather unusual, however those working on the Ozzie team are the ideal candidates to innovatively solve these kinds of complex problems. The need for datacenters was highlighted by Ozzie in an interview early last year with Fortune, where he said that Microsoft must build a global network of server farms that will cost “staggering” amounts of money. For those who are saying that “Live is dead” this should serve as a reminder that Microsoft are investing heavily in online services and are serious about their future in this sector.

While the premise behind Windows Live Core is becoming clearer, there is certainly a lot more to be learnt. Whether Ray Ozzie provides more details at Mix07 is anybody’s guess. We’re unable to attend but will be following the events closely, and we’ll be looking to our readers to send us the talk from the floor – drop us a comment below if you’re planning on going and what you are hoping to see or hear.

Posted March 25th, 2007 at 3:09 am
  • tardisinc

    I’m distinctly unimpressed with Windows Live so far: I’ve been following it (testing out products, etc) since its inception and there hasn’t been a great ROI. Hell, I’d have been better off cheering for Google; they’re execution is excellent.

    On the other hand, I haven’t quite managed to kill off the little voice on my shoulder that asks “What are all those people doing? Where are they spending on the money?”

    Hopefully, more details will be revealed that will vindicate the amount of time I’ve spent. At this date, however, I’m simply not optimistic.

  • Chris

    I totally understand where you are coming from which is why I always look at the potential of Windows Live rather than the actual services available now. Windows Live Core is one of these long term development projects that will hopefully pay off in the future, yet yields no benefit for the user at this time.

    You’ll notice that MS is being much more closed about what they are planning, which means the cries of the press are going unanswered. If you can hang in there for a bit I think you’ll start to like what you see.

  • http://theoceanviewnet.spaces.live.com/blog/ TheViewMaster

    tardisinc! …DITTOS!!!

    I Believe, This Morning, Is an ‘EXAMPLE’ What You Can ‘EXPECT’ From Windows Live Core – the Software as a Service platform…

    Windows Live: “Windows Live Hotmail or Hotmail is temporarily unavailable through this site. Please go directly to http://www.hotmail.com to access your account. We apologize for the inconvenience.” (<–I Been Getting This Message For About a Month, NOW!)

    Windows Live Favorites: "There's a problem with the service. Please try again later."

    D'er's Others…

    For The Most Part, NOTHING (In Windows Live) WORKS!!!

    Generally, SLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW, SLUGGLISH, FREEZING MY COMPUTER. Loading… Loading… Loading… Loading… Loading…

    :-(

    ???