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>> I'm Ina Freed with CNET News. I'm here with Bob Muglea [assumed spelling], the senior vice president of Microsoft's server and tools unit. One of the things Microsoft introduced at its professional developer conference in October is Windows Azure, the idea of an operating system that essentially runs inside Microsoft's data centers. And it's been talked about as kind of a cloud operating system.
>> I think it's a concept that's a little hard for some people to understand. What is it? Why do we need it? What types of things run in it? Maybe you can explain a little bit more.
>> Sure Ina. What we've been looking at with Azure, and thinking about for some time is how we can advance the programming model to make it easier for people to write very high scale applications very, very effectively. What we've done with Azure was we built an environment that allows people to write applications that can scale out, without requiring a lot of incremental administrative support to do so. So you might start out small, and then as additional needs happen, maybe more users are using the application, it can scale out to use more and more computer resources. And that's really something that the programming model needs to take into account. Now what we've done is we've taken our learning that we've had from these previous generations, and applied it to Azure, and are very much building it that way with the scale out architecture. One of the things Azure does of course, is we're providing it as a set of services that run inside Microsoft data centers. So people have geo services that are scaled around the world accessible to them to use, and they can use those as their demands require, or perhaps as they might want to build applications that having that worldwide global high bandwidth connectivity would be very useful.
>> Cause right now Windows Azure, it's only in Microsoft's data centers. What are some of the reasons why this is built to live inside Microsoft's data centers, and not inside a customer's own data center?
>> Well it's different. I mean when you're building an application, a platform environment that's gonna run on hundreds of thousands, or even millions of computers, you do different things than you might do for most companies that might run a few hundred computers, or thousands of computers, or even less. And yet there's a lot that we can do in terms of taking the learning that we have in this very high scale environment, and bring it back and apply it to Windows server and system center to enable the same kinds of capabilities, the same sorts of applications to be built by companies that want to deploy on premises.
>> Obviously the economy, don't need to be a mathematician to know the economy isn't that good, or an economist to know the economy isn't that good. What are some of the things that you see that impacting your neck of the woods? Particularly what does that mean for virtualization and some of the trends that we've been seeing?
>> Well customers are facing tough times right now. There's no question we've seen a lot of slowing of the economy worldwide, it's a global statement right now. And customers are telling us again and again that they are cutting back. And in this sort of time where people need to take things slower, customers are looking for ways that they can save money within their operations, and looking at the value proposition that the industry standard X86 platform, together with Microsoft software provides, provides customers with a great value proposition, compared to more proprietary systems, or higher end, really expensive enterprise software. And since the Microsoft platform does provide that great value proposition, one of the things that people are looking at is how they can take and use some of the capabilities of virtualization that are built into Server 2008, and System Center virtual machine manager to expedite their consolidation of resources within their data center environment at a much, much lower cost than the competition provides.
>> Do you think that this is gonna help you guys, the current economy gain market share? Or is it gonna help more companies switch to virtualization, or some factor of both?
>> I think you'll see both. I think that the current economic conditions, virtualization is a great solution for customers, because they can save money virtualizing. And when customers are looking to do that, they're looking at ways where they can manage their environment more effectively at the most cost effective means.
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And there's no question that the combination of Hyper V together with Virtual Machine Manager is the most effective and cost effective thing on the marketplace today.
>> Okay, thanks Bob.
>> Great, thanks. Good talking to you.