Microsoft: The Next SoftLayer

June 5, 2007

Microsoft, the Next Softlayer…

I'm only kidding, but with the recent announcement for Microsoft's Surface, total integration across product platforms has serious backing from within Microsoft, as evidenced by Bill Gates' support. The idea behind "surface computing" is to capture all tangible applications that are data-driven and integrate them into a portal that allows cross-sharing no matter what the product is (a phone, a camera, a personal computer or whatever). The commonality of this all lies within centralization. As one analyst writes in a recent Business Week article:

"It will be at least a few years before a consumer will be able to buy a Surface Computer and bring it home. To get there, Microsoft will need to create an ecosystem where software developers are motivated to write must-have applications. 'This thing is only cool if it works seamlessly,' says Roger Kay, president of market research firm Endpoint Technologies Associates. 'If it works well, it's game-changing.' Should those stars align, Kay says, sales could reach into the low billions of dollars in five years. 'Individuals are going to want this much faster than Microsoft is going to be able to deliver it to them,' he adds.”

When the team here at Softlayer started, we all had a very similar view as it pertained to the dedicated hosting and utility computing markets. With a tremendously successful track record behind us building companies spanning most everything internet-related, we looked at these markets with a simple question to answer—"How do we merge the physical layer with the virtual layer?” If we could answer this question, this would be our game-changing moment. After our recent announcement of the world's first API in the dedicated web hosting environment, we are certain the game has changed. The API has certainly started to answer our simple question of merging the physical and virtual environments and now with the introduction of the SoftLayer Development Network, we have opened doors to what is sure to be some really exciting applications to come in the next few days, weeks, and months. Our Eco-System is now one that resides both internally at SoftLayer and with our customer-base. We feel we've just barely touched the "Surface.”

-Sean

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