Steve Ballmer: 90 percent of Microsoft development will be focused on cloud within a year

University of Washington students were told that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would talk about the future of computing on campus yesterday. But his talk was all about the shift toward cloud computing.

Ballmer made a surprising statement when he emphasized how serious Microsoft is about this shift, telling the students that 75 percent of the company’s development work is now “cloud based or entirely cloud inspired… a year from now, that will be 90 percent.”

Ballmer said that changes in PC design over the last few years have been influenced by the shift but this is only the beginning: “I think we will have succeeded with cloud the day we agree that virtual interaction in the cloud is as good as being here.” He said the growth of the Xbox platform into a social network was one example of the impact of cloud computing.

The Seattle Times captured this memorable quote: “This is the bet for the company,” Ballmer said. “For the cloud, we’re all in.”

To illustrate his point, Microsoft showed off a “cloud in a box” that contained 10,000 servers. In a line that will not win him many friends among system administrators, Ballmer said, “There shouldn’t be people babysitting all these machines.”

The PaidContent blog has an analysis

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