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Microsoft Sees Profitability in the Cloud
Jul 13, 2010
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New Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill unveiled plans to help the company, and its partners, exploit new opportunities in the cloud, and he described new products and services that will allow consumers to access the cloud from all the screens in their lives. One of the most important of those platforms appears to be the company's struggling mobile phone business.

Roskill spoke at the annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference on July 13, 2010, less than a month after taking his new position. He described an industry transformation occurring as the cloud goes mainstream.

The cloud, in its simplest terms, runs software and stores files over the Internet rather than on a local computer. Millions already use cloud-based word processing on free sites like GoogleDocs, ThinkFree, and Zoho Writer.

"The industry is at an inflection point, and Microsoft is leading the charge through what will be one of the biggest industry transformations of our time,” Roskill said. The company has new tools to help partners build cloud businesses.

Microsoft's phone business lags well behind race leaders iPhone and Droid, and it took a stumble in 2010 when it launched the much-hyped KIN social networking phone, then pulled the plug on the device after just a few weeks of dismal sales.

Microsoft is betting that the late-2010 retail launch of Windows Phone 7 will put it back in the mobile phone race. The phones will include, among other things, access to Windows Live and cloud-based Word, Excel, and other Office applications.

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