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Microsoft hosts bring-a-bottle cloud trust code of practice party

Show me the trade body

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Of course, the public sector is one of the biggest customers in the UK when it comes to cloud computing. The government - with its G-Cloud project - has already committed, in principle, to investing in that area.

All of which prompts the question, will the Cameron-Clegg Coalition try and put its own stamp on the plan?

Intellect’s digital systems’ director Ian Osborne reckons it merely needs a bit of fine-tuning. “It’s a sound strategy but I think it’s going to be focused and priortised,” he told The Register.

Microsoft, publicly at least, has some sympathy for the little guy.

“The core competence for a typical business is not about running IT,” noted MS partner sales UK director Shaun Frolich, who briefly flirted with the CIF audience before scuttling off to presumably avoid any awkward questions about that other area of cloud computing Microsoft is struggling to get right - reliability.

He pointed out that Redmond never considered what was right under its nose before. But now that everyone else has caught on, the company is keen to ride the cloud computing train.

“We didn’t think of Hotmail etc as cloud products previously. But now we look at it and it is.”

Frolich then rolled out some impressive numbers. He said Microsoft was spending 70 per cent of 2010 R&D $9.5bn funds on the cloud. The company claims 16,000 partners worldwide are selling online services and 45,000 ISVs are building on the vendor’s Azure platform.

He was equally bullish about partner investment, saying that $2bn would be spent on the network in 2011.

And then, as Frolich put it, the screen containing his presentation “started blinking at us”.

When it did come back to life it revealed that MS had splurged £10m on cloud marketing in the UK this year.

Despite all that, Frolich agreed with CIF that trust remains a huge issue in cloud computing. By way of example he even confessed that some Microsoft employees had recently been hoodwinked by a recent ESTA scam after clicking the wrong links online.

“I’ve seen the expenses,” he said, confirming that even his own company wasn’t immune to being caught out by the darker side of the interwebs.

But will Microsoft endorse the code of practice to be laid out in full by the CIF on 18 October?

That’s unlikely, because - like cloud trade bodies that have gone before CIF - a lack of regulation combined with industry indifference can all too often make for a gummy proposal. ®

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