Gartner: Microsoft and VMware the only leading players in cloud computing by 2013

Last week, at its Symposium, Gartner made an interesting prediction, reported by PCMag: by 2013, only Microsoft and VMware will be perceived as leaders in both cloud computing and enterprise computing.
The authors of this prediction are David Cearley, Vice President, Distinguished Analyst & Gartner Fellow, and David Smith, Vice President of Research Fellow.

Of course the key word is “perceived”, as Gartner analysis is about the customers’ perception on their capability to execute in both private and public cloud computing.
Their analysis included Amazon, Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP and VMware.

Cearley said that Microsoft has “one of the most visionary and complete views of the cloud”, despite its offering has yet to mature.
As Amazon and Google are not offering any on-premises solution for enterprises, they aren’t considered as capable. Neither VMware is acting as a public cloud service provider, but Gartner says that it still has a key role as public cloud enabler.

Interestingly, other companies like Citrix (as cloud enabler) and Rackspace (as both cloud provider and enabler, through the OpenStack project) were not included in the comparison.

While VMware may be on track to reach such leadership position by 2013, for Microsoft it seems a little harder.
Right now the company has a very interesting Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) public cloud computing platform but its just announced Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform won’t have all components available before the second half of 2011. And at that point it will be just version 1.0. Additionally, Microsoft doesn’t currently have any specific solution for private IaaS cloud computing, with the first products expected for the first half of next year.

So basically, Microsoft only has two years to gain the credibility as leader in both private and public cloud computing.