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Microsoft goes Hawaiian
Microsoft has announced Project Hawaii, an attempt to marry cloud services and Windows mobile devices. While it might seem like a "no duh" idea, the truth is that mobile apps are mostly served off regular old IT infrastructure, although that infrastructure is a prime use case for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and most mobile developers probably have a foot in Amazon Web Services or something similar.
This looks like something deeper: an attempt to bind cloud services like Azure directly to apps running on mobile devices. Who knows where it could lead? Microsoft is partnering with universities around the world to explore the possibilities.
There's also a sub-project called Mobile Assistance Using Infrastructure (MAUI) that is looking at ways to "seamlessly augment the cognitive abilities of users by exploiting speech recognition, NLP, vision, machine learning, and augmented reality" by tapping locale-specific computing power for things a phone can't do. Sounds neat, although you'll still run your batteries flat in a New York minute doing anything other than voice and email.
Outsourcing to the cloud for outsourcers
Call centers, the proto-outsourcers, are now coming full circle and turning to cloud computing, pushing out the their own IT to the clouds. The fifth annual inContact User Conference (ICUC) was apparently full of ways to uses online services to enable self-service, home-based workers and other distributed IT services.