I've been away the last few weeks hanging out at my cottage in Ontario. Before I left for the the laid back country life, I did get an interesting piece of gossip. It seems that Microsoft is working on a project code named "Red Dog" which is said to be an "EC2 For Windows" cloud offering. The details are sketchy, but the word on the street is that it will launch in October during Microsoft's PDC2008 developers conference in Los Angeles. Original reports back in April indicated that the service would look more like the Google App Engine or a Mosso. But from what I'm being told it's going to look more like an EC2 environment.
A few companies have attempted to offer on demand Windows clouds including Terremark's "The Enterprise Cloud" (VMware based) and Gogrid. But both have yet to release an API for programmatic access, so there usefulness in a truly "elastic computing" environment is questionable. The folks at Gogrid have indicated they plan on offering an API in the near future which should certainly help in getting further user adoption. It also appears that just about every major telecom or data center provider is either thinking about or already in the midst of developing their own cloud offerings. From what I'm seeing, the market for "cloud builders" and "cloud enablers" appears to be booming.
While I'm on the topic of rumors, I also got wind of a Chinese cloud project rumored to be currently in development "under a hydro dam" which when complete may exceed one million servers. (If you're involved in this project ping me, We'd love to help out)
These rumors come from multiple credible sources, but then again they are just "rumors" so don't blame me if they turn out to be erroneous. None the less a Microsoft cloud could pose a serious threat for any companies looking to build their own windows based cloud offerings.