Microsoft has kicked off a major campaign to promote the benefits of cloud computing, with CEO Steve Ballmer pledging $9.5 billion in related R&D efforts.
Ballmer also revealed that at least 70% of Redmond's 40,000 engineers currently work on cloud-related products and services.
"The cloud is revolutionizing computing by linking devices to the processing and storage capacity of massive data centers," Ballmer wrote in a Forbesop-ed.
"[This] transforms computing from a constrained resource into a nearly limitless platform for connecting people to the information they need, no matter where they are or what they are doing."
Indeed, Microsoft seems to be quite serious about its endeavor, as COO Kevin Turner vowed on Thursday to "lead" the IT industry via the cloud.
To illustrate his point, Turner confirmed that a number of prominent entities - including Dow Chemical, Hyatt and the University of Georgia - had all recently selected Microsoft cloud solutions.
"[Clearly], the Microsoft cloud services ecosystem creates new opportunities for our customers," said Turner.
"It opens up new markets for businesses, improves operational efficiency and productivity and transforms what IT can deliver to advance business goals."
However, Real World Tech analyst and chip expert David Kanter told TG Daily that Microsoft had little interest in abandoning the traditional desktop market for the cloud.
"To a large extent, cloud computing today is a very hot area...Much like virtualization several years ago. It's also very nascent, so many companies are trying to make their mark. Microsoft's approach to the cloud is really a logical extension," explained Kanter.
"Conceptually, it's just another way to deliver the same software that MS has; however, there is additional integration work that is involved for a cloud offering to improve management and ease of use. So, I would expect MS to [simply] build on top of their existing products and internal infrastructure."