Microsoft's Bob Muglia says Cloud Computing provides early feedback

Cloud Computing has many benefits, but here is one you don't hear often.  We run the Cloud for early validation.  CNET has an interview with Microsoft's Bob Muglia.

You mentioned that Microsoft is pretty much doing everything for the cloud first. Does that mean that over time on-premises customers are actually going to be getting technology that's somewhat older, for better and for worse?
Muglia: Well, I think the way to look at it is that we're able to use the cloud to do a lot more of our early validation than we've ever been able to do before. You know, you see us with labs, you know, Live Labs and things like that, being able to take ideas and put them up in the cloud. More and more what you'll see is the beginning of our beta processes will be run for new things up in the cloud, because our ability to get feedback from customers is so much more rapid if customers don't have to deploy the infrastructure themselves. So, there's a set of things that we can do, which will help to reduce our cycle time, and bringing new features to market.

Could Microsoft provide a cloud environment as part of enterprise sales agreements?

I mean, in general our products run on two- to three-year cycles, and it very often takes customers at least that long to deploy them. I actually think the cloud will expedite customers' ability to get our software and our innovations, even if they run it themselves, because it will shorten our cycle for delivery, and also I think customers as they see these things available in the cloud will have a better understanding of the advantages they can get if they deploy it themselves. So, I actually don't think it slows down things at all for our customers that choose on-premises.

Or help customers run their own private clouds.

We hear a lot about this term, private cloud, meaning taking a cloud-like infrastructure and deploying it in one's own data center, taking the idea of a public cloud and having a completely private version of that replicated in someone else's data center. I guess I'm kind of curious what are you hearing the most demand from customers for when they say private cloud.
Muglia: Well, you know, one of the things we've learned is that customers have different views of the term private cloud. And so what we've been talking about is customers' ability to build their own clouds in their own data centers or for partners to be able to build clouds.

But fundamentally we do see a great deal of demand for that, because customers have some very reasonable concerns about their ability to control the environment, and they often have security concerns. So, for many circumstances having a customer build their own cloud is what absolutely makes sense for them, and we're supplying them with the tools and products they need in the form of Windows Server, System Center, and SQL Server to build their own clouds.

The business models for cloud computing is where there new opportunities.  Most focus on an AWS type of model.  But, it is interesting to think down the path of what Bob Muglia suggests as a cloud computing run as part of product development.

BTW, one of the problems Microsoft has is Microsoft Update which was started in the Office team then Windows, is almost always turned off in the Server product.  So, Microsoft gets very little product crash data from Server.  In Azure though they can get all the for known environments.  That in itself is a big help for Microsoft's Server business.