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Amazon, Microsoft reject 'Open Cloud Manifesto'

Cloud-computing providers are set to officially issue a "manifesto" calling for open standards in the emerging field. Two of the biggest names, though, aren't signing on.

Updated with a link to the Open Cloud Manifesto document.

The cloud-computing field may be in its infancy, but there is a fight breaking out at the preschool.

A group of Web services providers, reportedly including IBM, is set to unveil a "manifesto" next week that lays out a number of principles for open cloud computing. Two of the biggest names in the field, though, say they aren't signing on.

Microsoft posted blog message to that effect on Wednesday night, while Amazon.com on Friday said it, too, is not among the companies signing the document.

"Like other ideas on standards and practices, we'll review this one," Amazon said in a statement. "Ideas on openness and standards have been talked about for years in Web services. And we do believe standards will continue to evolve in the cloud-computing space. But what we've heard from customers thus far, customers who are really committed to using the cloud, is that the best way to illustrate openness and customer flexibility is by what you actually provide and deliver for them."

Amazon noted that over the past three years, it has made its Web services available on different operating systems and programming languages.

Microsoft, for its part, said there were some things it agreed with in the manifesto, but others that were either too vague or did not reflect its interests. The company also objected to the fact that it was shown the document just last weekend, not allowed to make changes, and given just 48 hours to decide whether to sign.

"We were admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the (Open) Cloud Manifesto," Microsoft's Steven Martin wrote in the blog post. "What we heard was that there was no desire to discuss, much less implement, enhancements to the document, despite the fact that we have learned through direct experience. Very recently, we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed 'as is,' without modifications or additional input."

Martin wrote that "it appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an 'open' process."

Although the document has yet to be released, one of its proponents, Enomaly's Reuven Cohen, has said it will be will be released on Monday. In a blog post, Cohen suggests that there will be at least a dozen signatories of the document, including "several of the largest technology companies."

"The manifesto does not speak to application code or licensing but instead to the fundamental principles that the Internet was founded upon--an open platform available to all," Cohen said. "It is a call to action for the worldwide cloud community to get involved and embrace the principles of the open cloud."

Cohen also posted a follow-up blog thanking Microsoft for the attention generated by the rejection of the manifesto.

"In one move, Microsoft has provided more visibility to our cloud interoperability effort than all our previous efforts combined," Cohen wrote.

As for the manifesto itself, we'll have to wait until Monday to see it, but Cohen's blog and this site give some idea where they are headed.

Update at 1:30 p.m. Friday: Turns out, the manifesto is even more open than we thought. We found it online here. For more information on the Open Cloud Manifesto, read our first take.