(Saul Hansell/The New York Times)
It's actually two sides of a mirror mashed-up into one diagram; there is the cloud side and the on-premises side. For everything on-premise there is a matching service in the cloud. They are essentially the same but with different names and constraints. Evidenced by "Windows Server/Azure" and "SQLServer/Azure" in the diagram. Saul Hansell does a nice job of describing the picture in this article, although it would have been fun to see the order that each box was drawn. It sorta looks like Mr. Ballmer forgot to make a box for SharePoint, but then added as he was talking.
Accordingly, Ballmer admits that selling cloud-based services as a platform is a nascent market. I can agree that this selling model and market are new for Google, Microsoft and others, but cloud computing is not new for a long stretch. What is new is the method of selling platform services - like operating systems and enterprise solutions - in a more commercial fashion, with standardized bundles, service levels, and fixed costs.
The quote I find most interesting is when Mr. Ballmer said:
“We understand what the enterprise needs: Security, compliance, archiving.”
Good point, but I have to ask if security, compliance, and archiving are so important then why is Exchange still not using SQLServer as a back-end data store? Seems to make sense when you understand that security, compliance, and archiving are best served when you can apply global policies and searching across all the information generated by the different services.
Steve Ballmer Maps Microsoft’s Cloud-y Future - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com