Jan. 13: What We’re Reading About the Cloud

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Here are a couple of “what-ifs” to chew on: What if a supercomputer beats two super humans at Jeopardy — is is a sign the machines will one day take over? What if Steve Ballmer is the next executive to leave Microsoft — will the company be better off? We’ll know the answer to one of those questions in February, but we might have to wait a while for the other.

Amazon Kills It In Cloud Computing But It Won’t Budge the Stock Price (From Forbes) Probably not yet, but other predictions have AWS growing to a fairly significant portion of Amazon revenue. Competition will increase, but so will demand and AWS’s feature set.

Cloud Juggler Eyes Microsoft’s Floating VMs (From The Register) I’m up in the air on whether this is big news. It would be good for Microsoft, but I wonder what RightScale gains from supporting Windows Azure VMs, save for additional data centers.

The Cloud and Customized Contracts (From CloudPundit) Gartner has been defending its IaaS and web hosting Magic Quadrant since it came out, although it wasn’t wholly misguided. Customized contracts are definitely desirable as an option.

IBM Unveils Watson Supercomputer for Jeopardy Challenge (From Wired) And, big surprise, Watson is winning after the first practice round. I saw a presentation on the technology and algorithms behind Watson, and it’s something to marvel. The only hope for humanity might be strategy.

Ballmer Makes it to Year 11 as Microsoft CEO (From ZDNet) Predictably, there has been a lot of speculation about the state of the Microsoft world after Steve Ballmer decided to relieve Bob Muglia of his job. Is it time for Steve Ballmer to go, too?

Image courtesy of Flickr use sara.atkins.

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