Via Linden, this Seattle PI story reports on Microsoft’s ambitions to build a massive grid – and spend an additional $2 billion doing it. This is the real test of a company’s mettle – will it go big to create a platform for all computing, regardless of its near term potential monetization. Microsoft has seen the writing on the wall, apparently. And the company can outspend anyone at this particular game. Anyone.
Now, the company is NOT saying this publicly. In the piece its CFO would not comment on what the money was being spent on, other than to say they will be hiring a lot of sales folks. But it’s clear that Microsoft must build a rival to Google’s infrastructure if it is to compete. As Linden put it:
Few others have the resources to build this massive online computing infrastructure. Who else can build, maintain, and exploit a cluster of millions of servers? Who else can spend the billions required? Not Amazon. Not Ask. Not any venture-funded startup. Probably not Yahoo.
The search war is now an arms race.
Amen to that. I do quibble with one point – I think Yahoo will spend its way into this game.
I wonder if it makes sense to just buy Sun for the server building capacity! (Just a joke, Jonathan…)