Who owns the cloud business inside Microsoft?

Computerworld features a good story on Microsoft’s approach related to cloud computing.

… To understand Microsoft Corp.’s cloud software strategy, look not just to what the software maker plans to deliver, but how.

For instance, its massive data center investments show the seriousness of Microsoft’s purpose around software as a service (SaaS), however belated it may be.

Or how Microsoft plans to develop and roll out to customers its new cloud software such as Windows Azure, Exchange and SharePoint Online, or Office Web.

Rather than creating a new business division devoted to building and selling its SaaS offerings, Microsoft plans to house each hosted service in the same group as its on-premise counterpart, according to an interview with Bob Muglia, Microsoft senior vice president, at the Professional Developers Conference last week.

For instance, Exchange and SharePoint Online are being built today by a team led by Dave Thompson, corporate vice president for Microsoft Online.

Thompson reports to Muglia, who runs the Server and Tools Business (STB). A $13 billion-a-year enterprise software business in its own right, STB’s trademark products include SQL Server, Windows Server and the Visual Studio developer tool.

But do Exchange and SharePoint Online, products that will likely be purchased by line-of-business/small business workers rather than back-end IT managers, fit inside STB?

Muglia doesn’t think so. He said that after an incubation period, the two products will be transferred to the Microsoft Business Division, which sells the regular server versions of Exchange and SharePoint today, though he gave no timetable. …

Source: ComputerWorld.com

I’m not sure if the term ‘çloud computing’ quite covers it, but the industry in general is not aligned on what to call the “wave of innovation”. SaaS certainly not covers it and cloud computing also seems to address just part of the solution. Software-plus-Services (S+S) is Microsoft’s strategy and that makes sense.

"When you combine the ever-growing power of devices and the increasing ubiquity of the Web, you come up with a sum that is greater than its parts."

Ray Ozzie, PDC 2008

Also It makes sense that Microsoft has not created a separate organisation for all activities related to S+S; S+S will be part of each and every Microsoft solution in the future, beit a service running completely ‘in the cloud’ or an application complemented by services.