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Microsoft loudly disses secret 'Cloud Manifesto'

Bemoans lack of openness while keeping straight face

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Updated Microsoft’s Azure boss has leaked details of a “Cloud Manifesto” some big tech firms have been secretly working on and revealed that Redmond has no intention of playing ball.

Steven Martin bitched about the latest tech industry group hug on his blog today in which he complained, without even so much as a hint of irony, that Microsoft wonks were “admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the Cloud Manifesto.”

At this stage it’s not known which companies are behind the cloudy proposals, but it’s probably safe to bet that some of Microsoft’s closest rivals, such as IBM and Google, have been drafting the manifesto, given the veracity of Martin’s grumbles.

“Very recently we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed ‘as is,’ without modifications or additional input,” said Martin.

“It appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an ‘open’ process. An open Manifesto emerging from a closed process is at least mildly ironic,” he breathlessly continued.

Martin called on the project creators to consider using an "open mechanism", such as a Wiki, to allow for public abuse debate and comment.

"This would help avoid biases toward one technology over another, and expand the opportunities for innovation," he said.

"If there is a truly open, transparent, inclusive dialogue on cloud interoperability and standards principles, we are enthusiastically 'in'."

Martin then outlined three principles he feels the creators of the manifesto needed to adopt.

He suggested that interoperability policies and required standards for cloud computing should be defined though public collaboration and scrutiny.

The process should be "vendor-dominated" with support from multiple providers, customers and other interested parties, said Martin.

He added that relevant standards would take time to "develop and coalesce as the cloud computing industry matures."

Ex-Citrix exec Sam Johnston was quick to hit back at Martin's remarks by posting a comment on the Azure man's blog.

"Thanks for getting the ball rolling," he wrote. "As it happens the Cloud Computing Community (the only truly open cloud computing group with no moderation, censorship, invites, sponsors and other malarky) already has a wiki (specifically MediaWiki) for collaborative development of such documents by community consensus."

Johnston added that the manifesto had been "seeded" with Martin's three suggested principles.

"Here's hoping that when this consortium reveals itself their work will also be available under a CC-BY-SA license so we can cherry pick the better parts, but in the meantime if you have anything to add then please feel free to do so," he said. ®

Update

A Microsoft spokesman has clarified that Johnston has no connection to the manifesto referred to by Martin in his blog post.

Meanwhile Reuven Cohen, who is the founder and CTO of Enomaly Inc, has confirmed on his blog that a still unnamed group has been "working on the first version of the manifesto which will be published Monday, March 30th with a goal of being ratified by the greater cloud community."

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