Microsoft is in the early stages of a plan that will see virtually its entire lineup of underlying Internet services opened up to developers, the software maker made clear this week.
In addition to making available its existing services, such as mail and instant messaging, Microsoft also will create core infrastructure services, such as storage and alerts, that developers can build on top of. It's a set of capabilities that have been referred to as a "Cloud OS," though it's not a term Microsoft likes to use publicly.
...Microsoft made clear this week that it aims to play the same role on the Internet that it plays today on the desktop--that of providing its own applications as well as the underlying plumbing and tools that developers use to build their products.
The Visual Studio IDE and .net technologies are indeed the best dev environment I've ever used. SQL Server and IIS have come a long long way in the past 3 or 4 years so this is both interesting and exciting news.