It's been an interesting few weeks for Microsoft employees (and former Microsoft employees) named Steve: First up was news that Steve Sinofsky was named president of the Windows division. Now former Microsoft security expert Steve Riley has announced on his personal blog and Twitter feed that he's joining Amazon to serve as an evangelist and strategist for Amazon's booming cloud services business.

Here's an excerpt from Riley's blog post announcing the news:

On Monday 13 July I start my new position as evangelist and strategist for Amazon Web Services. What is AWS, you ask? I’ll briefly explain.

Unless you’ve spent the last couple years engaged in distant interstellar space travel, you’ve certainly noticed that the momentum behind cloud computing continues to grow. Unlike the application service provider (ASP) days of yore, cloud computing is here to stay: the business models are mature, the technology can support the requirements, and there are clear customer benefits.

In addition to his former role in the security group at Microsoft, Riley was a frequent speaker at many Microsoft conferences, including TechMentor Conferences, RSA, Black Hat, Windows and Exchange Connections, InfoSec US, and (ISC)2.

Amazon has invested heavily in its cloud computing offerings, and has emerged as an early front-runner in the race to provide cloud-based services to developers and IT pros. Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie singled out Amazon for praise at PDC2008, stating that "all of us are going to be standing on \[Amazon's\] shoulders as they've established some base level design patterns, architectural models and business models that we'll all learn from and grow."

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