Author of 'cloud Manifesto' Surprised By Microsoft Protest

Microsoft's sharp criticism of an "open cloud manifesto" surprised drafters of the document, who plan to release it to the public on Monday, according to the founder of a company that helped to write it.

By Elizabeth Montalbano
Thu, March 26, 2009

IDG News Service — Microsoft's sharp criticism of an "open cloud manifesto" surprised drafters of the document, who plan to release it to the public on Monday, according to the founder of a company that helped to write it.

On his ElasticVapor blog, Reuven Cohen, founder and chief technologist for Toronto-based cloud-computing startup Enomaly, said Microsoft was among the first companies to review the manifesto, and he was surprised that Microsoft Manager Steven Martin spoke out so vehemently against it in a blog post that appeared early Thursday morning.

"Let me say, we've been in active discussions with Microsoft about the open cloud manifesto, which has literally come together in the last couple weeks," he wrote. "It is unfortunate they feel this way. ...Their 2:28 a.m. pre-announcement of the manifesto was a complete surprise given our conversations."

Moreover, Cohen challenged Microsoft's contention that the manifesto does not provide for an open forum in which ideas about revisions can be discussed. "If Microsoft is truly committed to an open cloud ecosystem, this document provides a perfect opportunity to publicly state it," he wrote.

Cohen did not name the other companies involved with the manifesto, saying only that "several of the largest technology companies and organizations" are among its co-writers.

However, a document available on IBM's Web site also refers to a manifesto on cloud computing -- this one called an "architectural manifesto" about the "possibilities (and risks) of cloud computing" -- hinting that IBM may be one of the large technology companies to which Cohen refers in his post.

Cohen said the goal of the manifesto's authors was to "draft a document that clearly states we ... believe that, like the Internet, the cloud itself should be open."

"The manifesto does not speak to application code or licensing but instead to the fundamental principles that the Internet was founded upon -- an open platform available to all," he wrote. "It is a call to action for the worldwide cloud community to get involved and embrace the principles of the open cloud."

Microsoft spilled the beans about the manifesto on a blog post in which it complained about the "lack of openness" of the document, particularly its development process. Microsoft said it was shown the document and asked to sign it without the opportunity to provide feedback or revisions.

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