Microsoft launches cloud OS

16 December 2013

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

Microsoft has launched its latest cloud-based operating system (OS) and global network last week.

As it implies, this is an OS native to the cloud, based on the company's Windows Server 2012 technology.

It arguably represents a standard in the growing cloud industry, given the popularity of Windows on traditional devices. Due in part to this, it already serves around three million people over 90 different markets, as well as being supported by a large number of providers.

Yet the cloud is not without its share of risks, as there is a continuous debate as to whether or not it is secure enough.

Speaking to Tech Week Europe Barry Shteiman, director of security strategy at Imperva, expressed a key concern regarding remote server platforms.

He said: "Cloud infrastructure introduces collision. All of a sudden different customers share the same infrastructure, which means that any potential breach to either the service provider or one of its customers, may affect all of the service users."

With large numbers moving to the same OS, the weakness Mr Shteiman talks about becomes more obvious, as all data held through this is exposed to the same risks. One could imagine an intelligent malware might work through servers quickly if it found a potential backdoor in the OS.

That said, the move to cloud-based options does not seem to be slowing down, despite safety fears.

Last week, for instance, Adobe announced subscriptions to its Creative Cloud service had gone up to 1.4 million in the fourth quarter of the year, ending November 29th. This feature allows customers to use the business's products via remotely accessed servers.

Executive vice president and chief financial officer for Adobe Mark Garrett said: "We are leading the software industry in transitioning our business to the cloud, which is enabling us to target higher top-line growth and greater recurring revenue."

Adobe made the headlines in October, when it stated 2.9 million people had their information compromised during a data breach - a figure later expanded to 38 million. Customers had their usernames, passwords and, in some cases, card details accessed during the incident.

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