A recent MS blog claims that Microsoft should be considered a virtualisation innovator because they purchased Hotmail 13 years ago. What a load of bull. This is the same thing as claiming that I invented the automobile because I purchased a Model T Ford. The media at the time shows that Microsoft were claiming that the purchase was made as a means to boost the MSN brand and compete against AOL.
Here we have a great example of the Microsoft marketing machine at work and it drags down the reputation of the people that blog on Technet. This is rewriting of history to suit Microsoft marketing needs.
I would dearly love to see what evidence Microsoft can produce that shows that Hotmail was using any form of virtualisation in their services in 1997. I agree that Hotmail could be considered as one of the first web app operators but the Hotmail offering fell a long way short of meeting the test of being a Cloud like service as it fails the test on point iv and point v. Any long term Hotmail user will attest to the outages they suffered under the original owners and under the ownership of Microsoft.
Instead I think were seeing another example of how slow to move the Microsoft behemoth is. They missed the internet party, tried to compete with it and failed (MSN) and decided that giving their browser away for free was the best way to own the internet. That worked in that it put their browser on every computer, but only by stealth and not by consumer choice and that turned out to be a security and interoperability nightmare anyway. Now they have missed the boat on virtualisation and they have turned to their tried and true strategy of “give the shit away for free” and hope we can devalue the competitors products into oblivion.
Microsoft claim to be the leaders of IT innovation but what they are really the leaders of is having more money than anyone else.