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on Jul 23, 2014

I am not happy with Microsoft. I used to trust them (since 1995) but no longer. I used to wonder why some people were so anti-Microsoft - now I see why. It is because they dominate and shape the marketplace to meet their own ends. The cloud is an extreme example of this.

Microsoft are dismantling the current on-premise market in favour of a cloud based market. This ignores large enterprise customers wants and needs. It ignores the needs of the numerous small Microsoft partners who can see their services diminishing.

It is OK for very large partners to earn small commissions on a very large number of client seats. Small, specialised shops sell their knowledge and expertise - not software licences and they cannot survive as poorly paid salesmen.

When Microsoft openly state that pretty much, in-house IT departments should get on board with cloud solutions and add a threat of telling their business their IT department is out-of-date you know Microsoft are in trouble.

You see cloud solutions are great for small businesses that have little investment in legacy systems and do not want an IT department. For larger business their IT department are THE IT experts in their business. There are many legitimate concerns about cloud based solutions. For many the risks outweigh the benefits.

Clearly Microsoft are disappointed with the take-up in the enterprise market hence their not-so veiled threats. It is also why they have come up with hybrid solutions as a way of enabling companies to ease themselves into the cloud space. Nothing wrong with that but I worry when companies don't listen to their customers (Windows 8 anyone) and then drive the customer towards a solution they were not asking for.

I foresee small partners leaving Microsoft in droves. Some of the smart ones will specialise in hybrid solutions for a while but note this. The writing is on the wall. Massive change and no certainty combined with great risk for Microsoft and its partners for the next 5 years. I am not at all surprised many are jumping ship.

on Aug 1, 2014

I think Microsoft simply saw that it was more profitable to sell software on a subscription basis, though that doesn't mean I'm cheering the move to the cloud. But Microsoft is not alone in doing this. I was personally pretty disgusted with Adobe at first for moving its Creative Suite to the cloud. Interestingly, you mention a population I hadn't thought of, which is the smaller Microsoft partners. We too have been noticing smaller MS partners move beyond creating just for SharePoint and for Microsoft. Will Microsoft be successful in keeping its customers and partners AND shepherding everyone to the cloud?

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