Hosting Summit 2010: Microsoft Sees an Increasingly Hosted World

I’m here at the AZGroups Day of .NET event today and I’m totally behind in my posts so here’s one that I meant to publish last week.

I attended the Microsoft Hosting Summit 2010 the last week of April. This is an annual conference where Microsoft can present their strategy and vision to hosting providers from around the world, as well as a chance for Microsoft staff to meet with hosting providers. With over 350 people in attendance it was the biggest hosting summit yet.

Bob Muglia, President of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, spoke and made an interesting point which was further expanded upon in a presentation by David McCann, General Manager, Marketing & Strategy for Windows Server at Microsoft. And this point was that Microsoft sees an increasingly hosted world.

In numbers, Microsoft’s research shows an estimated number of servers in the world at around 30 million at this time.  They estimate that in 10 years time the number of servers in the world can grow to around 50 million. And the kicker was that Microsoft believes that by 2020, half of the world’s servers will be hosted – that’s 25 million servers in a hosted environment!

David McCann’s talk was in part a pep talk. If half the servers in the world will be hosted in 2020, then he said, the people in the room – the hosting providers of today – are the small elite group of forethinkers that will be helping forge the hosted world of tomorrow. This is part of the reason why Microsoft has been focusing on the hosting partners in the last several years. And, as a hosting partner, I would agree that Microsoft has been more and more engaged with hosting partners year to year.

In this increasingly hosted world that Microsoft projects, Microsoft itself is “all in” in building its Cloud computing infrastructure and competing with the likes of Google and Amazon. I totally understand this strategy and the need for Microsoft to move in this direction. However, the challenge will be in how Microsoft works with existing hosting partners as there will be some sectors of the hosting market where Microsoft will compete with their own partners.

The good thing as that the speakers did acknowledge this and that Microsoft is interested in being transparent and working with hosting partners to continue to evolve the hosting partner relationship. The next 10 years is certainly going to be an interesting ride and we will work hard to be relevant in this increasingly hosted world.

Takeshi Eto
VP Marketing and Business Development

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