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Microsoft puts cloud over manifesto launch

Microsoft and the companies behind the Cloud Manifesto will today attempt to patch up the differences that could threaten efforts to create genuine interoperability in cloud computing.

Microsoft, which has its own Azure cloud computing offering, last week reacted angrily at the Cloud Manifesto that was due for launch today, accusing "a few companies" of wanting to "control the evolution of could computing".

The Cloud Manifesto initiative is being spearheaded by IBM and today, discussions will take place in an effort to settle the row at the Cloud Computing Expo in New York between Microsoft and other vendors and members of standards bodies.

"From our perspective, this represents a fresh start on the conversation - a collaborative "do-over" if you will," wrote Steve Martin on a Microsoft blog.

Martin heads a team that "manages a set of technologies that span Web, Server and Cloud." His post urged "everyone to take a step back and remember this isn't about vendors; it's about developers and end-users."

Last week he wrote:

Recently, we've heard about a "Cloud Manifesto," purportedly describing principles and guidelines for interoperability in cloud computing.

"We are happy to participate in a dialogue with other providers and collaborate with them on how cloud computing could evolve to provide additional choices and greater value for customers.

"We were admittedly disappointed by the lack of openness in the development of the Cloud Manifesto. What we heard was that there was no desire to discuss, much less implement, enhancements to the document despite the fact that we have learned through direct experience.

"Very recently we were privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, and told that it must be signed 'as is,' without modifications or additional input. It appears to us that one company, or just a few companies, would prefer to control the evolution of cloud computing, as opposed to reaching a consensus across key stakeholders (including cloud users) through an "open" process. An open Manifesto emerging from a closed process is at least mildly ironic."

Martin said that in Microsoft view "large parts of the draft Manifesto are sensible. Other parts arguably reflect the authors' biases. Still other parts are too ambiguous to know exactly what the authors intended."

In response, Reuven Cohen, the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum "Instigator" said, the manifesto being launched today is a "first draft is to act as a line in the sand, a starting point for others to get involved."

He said, the Manifesto would not try to "define standards for every capability in the cloud and create a single homogeneous cloud environment. Rather, as cloud computing matures to address several key principles that we believe must be followed to ensure the cloud is open and delivers the choice, flexibility and agility organisations demand. This is just one of several initiatives and announcements we will be making in the coming weeks as we move to organise the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF) and Cloud Camp into a formalised organisation.

He invited those interested to join the Open Cloud Manifesto Discussion Group .

On Sunday , however, the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum, decided to remove its name from it, according to a forum post.

"This decision comes with great pain as we fully endorse the document's contents and its principles of a truly open cloud. However, this community has issued a mandate of openness and fair process, loudly and clearly, and so the CCIF can not in good faith endorse this document," group organisers wrote.

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