The big technology buzz this week has been around Google's Chrome operating system, positioned as an open source, cloud computing-based alternative to Microsoft's Windows platform.Although a lot of the commentary has focused on Chrome being a threat to Windows largely because it involves cloud computing -- implying that Microsoft is behind in this regard -- cloud computing actually was the main topic I covered with Microsoft's Insurance Industry Solutions Director, Bill Hartnett when I met with him recently at the ACORD LOMA Insurance Systems Forum. In fact, Microsoft's new Azure platform is essentially "an operating system in the cloud," Hartnett told me.
Time will tell if Azure will get equal pundit attention when it comes out in the fall. In the meantime, Google CEO Eric Schmidt says cloud computing "is really the future." Discussing Chrome and the netbook devices that will run it, he noted, "We do know people will flock to these new kinds of products ... We don't know what [it] displaces." For more of Schmidt's views on the future of computing, check out this CNBC video:
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio