Microsoft's Red Dog to compete with Google Apps Engine and Amazon's EC2

Microsoft has been particularly mum in recent times as Amazon, and just in the past few days Google, took the lead in the hotly contested field of Cloud computing.

Ray Ozzie provided a few scant details last year (as reported by M-J Foley at Zdnet) of the Windows Live platform which was "almost ready" at that time.

The Live Services Framework will consist of four separate logical layers : Global Foundation Services (the hardware), Cloud Infrastructure Services (CIS) which will include the Live Platform Services and on top of everything else, Applications and Solutions.

The CIS carries the code name of Red Dog and although very little data is available on the actual road map, there's a Microsoft job description on Dice which provides with some useful clues.

It says : The Cloud Infrastructure Services (CIS) team is responsible for creating the Microsoft Utility Computing Platform, also known by its early codename Red Dog (RD). This platform is one of the lowest levels of the services software/hardware stack and includes an efficient, virtualized computational substrate, a fully automated service management system and a comprehensive set of highly scalable storage services.

The platform will enable services to scale to millions of machines distributed globally throughout Microsoft data centers. Further, it will provide the lowest operating costs per-node, and will lead the marketplace as the best platform for rapid development, deployment, and maintenance of internet services and applications. CIS is a young and hungry team that is on the path to delivering a V1 product to external customers in the coming year.

As a footnote, Compuserve, one of the first mainstream online services, worked on an ill-fated project called Red-Dog which was supposed to save it from sinking deeper in debt.