Microsoft builds cloud OS for government

Microsoft is designing a cloud operating system specifically designed for government customers.

Like everyone in Silicon Valley, Microsoft has been talking up cloud technology as if it is the next hula hoop.

The US government is already a big user of the Vole’s basic cloud software, Azure and Windows Server. But it appears that Microsoft has a new cloud OS on the drawing board.

Dubbed “Fairfax” – presumably after Thomas Fairfax who was a general and parliamentary commander-in-chief during the English Civil War, who was eventually overshadowed by his subordinate Oliver Cromwell – the OS is meant only to be used by government customers.

ZDnet reports Microsoft’s approach is supposed to allow government IT deparments to get all the benefits of scale, speed, and agility while keeping a fair bit of their existing software and hardware.

This will speed up deployment of the new OS across a government department.

But things might not go so well for Microsoft. The outfit has recently lost the legal trademark over SkyDrive and will actually have to rename it. Fairfax Media is one of the biggest media companies from Australia and one of the oldest, founded in 1841.

This suggests that the new cloud product from Microsoft will only be offered to US government agencies. There are more than 10 cities with the Fairfax name. Fairfax in Virginia is the home of the General Services Administration, and a key location for many US agencies. This makes it more likely that the Vole will get a US trademark but find things difficult for it if it tries to apply it elsewhere.

Fairfax could have some features similar to the Office 365 for Government suite, but the biggest difference between what the Vole is offering now is that it will use physical servers on site at government locations and Microsoft’s own data centres.