The Open Cloud Manifesto, which is backed by IBM, calls for the computer industry to keep cloud services as open and interoperable as possible to make them easier for consumers to use and switch between. “In order for customers to realise the most benefit, it is important to pull the community together in order to keep the cloud open,” Karla Norsworthy, IBM’s vice president of software standards, told the BBC. But it has emerged that several major technology companies, including Microsoft and Amazon, have decided not to sign up to the manifesto, while Google has backed out at the eleventh hour, having previously agreed to the project. And the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum, which campaigns for open standards in cloud computing, also withdrew its support. Microsoft said it had been given just two days to sign up to a “secret” manifesto, and had no input into the project. “We had concerns about process and governance that led us to question IBM’s intentions,” said Steve Martin, developer platform project manager at Microsoft. However, IBM played down talk of a rift, saying that many other key technology companies, including Cisco, Sun, AT&T and AMD, had signed up to the manifesto. “The aim [of the manifesto] was to serve as a rallying cry to the industry to get focused around the importance of the cloud environment being open,” said Ms Norsworthy. “We are pleased about the number of vendors who have signed up. As regards Microsoft, we are still hopeful about working together on giving customers the flexibility they have come to expect from technology that is open.” But Steve Martin hinted that the manifesto might be an attempt by some companies to claw back the cloud computing lead enjoyed by their competitors. “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,” he wrote on his company blog. “An open manifesto emerging from a closed process is, at best, mildly ironic.” Cloud computing is an emerging technology in which software and services are stored 'in the cloud' – on servers linked to the internet, that can be accessed anywhere, from any computer – rather than stored or installed on individual.
( www.telegraph.co.uk )