Microsoft prefers cloud over OpenXML

Microsoft looks to improve OpenXML support through cloud computing

Microsoft will base support for the final OpenXML standard on customer demand. The market leader at this point prefers to move its clients to cloud computing, said Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's Business Division. He considers cloud offerings a good extension of the desktop software that Microsoft currently sells.

"OpenXML can be implemented for a range of applications," Elop told Webwereld in an interview. "Some are characterized as strict and some are more broad in scope. We do our best to expand the standard in collaboration with the standards bodies and implement it ourselves. We have taken major steps, but in some areas more work needs to be done."

Microsoft recently faced criticism because the new Office 2010 productivity suite didn't implement the strict ISO-approved version of OpenXML but a version that had been rejected.

Elop dismissed the criticism, but declined to explain the considerations that Microsoft took. He argued that customers are happy with the current state of affairs and that Microsoft will take additional steps based on customer feedback.

"We see a great trend [with] the current growth and are in a position to take a leadership role to help customers move into the cloud," Elop said. He thinks that his company has a leading role and dismisses any threats from Google.

"They have interesting soundbites, but we are the ones who attract all the customers," he argued, pointing to the 40 million business users that currently purchase cloud services from Microsoft, such as Live Meeting, Exchange Online or Sharepoint Online. Microsoft dwarfs Google when it comes to cloud customer counts, he said. "In terms of actual customer wins, they are clearly taking a Microsoft decision."

Microsoft is winning because the company's offerings have a lower total cost of ownership than competing offerings, and offer better desktop integration, he said.

Microsoft is betting that its combination of desktop and cloud offerings will provide a winning combination. An individual could for instance read a cloud-based document and switch to a desktop application to edit. Elop expects that this would provide a better user experience.

In other cases, desktop applications can't be replaced by cloud offerings. Elop points at new video editing capabilities in Office 2010, which require so many computing resources that a desktop application is required.

Cloud services do have an advantage over desktop applications when it comes to their price. Many users like the Microsoft software, but are reluctant to pay for them. Elop is betting that this will create a new market for the company by offering premium paid products as an upgrade to basic free services. "We see that as a growth opportunity," Elop said.

The Microsoft executive meanwhile cautioned that a complete migration to cloud computing is a far way out, and that many hurdles have yet to be cleared. Concerns over privacy and security track records, for instance, could hold back cloud adoption. Rather than putting corporate data in a public cloud, firms could maintain control by building a private cloud instead. Microsoft has built private clouds for some large customers, including the U.S. government.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoft Office 2010Microsoftcloud computingOpenXML

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brenno de Winter

WebWereld Netherlands
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?