A new document that Microsoft has released is…refreshing. Understanding the Microsoft Cloud is a 20 page Microsoft Word file that provides a true breath of fresh air compared to the blather released by most other vendors. It's evident that the document was written for both true Cloud newbies and those that have been thoroughly hoodwinked by industry marketing and sales descriptions of the Cloud. And, for those that think they know what the Cloud is already, particularly from the Microsoft perspective, there's even some valuable information contained within for you, if only to highlight and pass on to someone you know who doesn't quite "get it" yet.

One of the more refreshing nuances to the document is that it does not dismiss those companies that still feel that an on-premise solution is the current way to go. The document is laid out much like a picture book and in some parts at the beginning I felt it was something I could actually read to my kids at bedtime. Starting with a full definition of the Cloud and how the Cloud came to be, it then moves on to show how Microsoft has used the last few years to prepare their own infrastructure to be able to service a Cloud-centric future of IT. The document finishes up by explaining Microsoft's own Cloud service offerings and even offers some decision points for those companies in the midst of determining the value of the Cloud for their organizational needs.

The doc is definitely worth a download and a read. Grab the doc from here:

Understanding the Microsoft Cloud

BTW: If you're interested in learning more about Microsoft's new "the Cloud on your schedule" refrain, check out the following articles:

Microsoft's Move to the Cloud Is on Your Schedule, Not Theirs

Run Pieces of Windows Azure in Your Own Datacenter

New Hybrid Cloud Whitepaper Confirms Azure is the Future

After you grab the document and read through, let me know what you think. Do you like it? Should Microsoft invest more time in documents like this? What's the best use for it?