Microsoftâ€™s new focus for 2010 is cloud services and mobile, and with Project Hawaii they are launching a new research effort to investigate how the two can work together synergistically.
At the Project Hawaii home page they note:
Innovations in WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) and WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) technology bring us to todayâ€™s mostly connected world, and smartphones are gaining acceptance rapidly among both enterprises and consumers. We foresee that the vast majority of applications that run on these platforms will rely on services provided by the cloud.
As part of Project Hawaii, we are investigating how we can use the cloud to enhance how we use mobile devices. Our goal is to foster the creation of a set of cloud-enabled mobile applications and associated support services so we can gain understanding about the systems and networking infrastructure needed to create the next generation of applications.
As part of the effort Microsoft is also launching a University Engagement program, MAUI project , currently involving 3 universities, to get new and fresh perspectives on the role of the cloud in mobile.
The Mobile Assistance Using Infrastructure (MAUI) project enables a new class of cpu- and data-intensive applications that seamlessly augment the cognitive abilities of users by exploiting speech recognition, NLP, vision, machine learning, and augmented reality. it overcomes the energy limitations of handhelds by leveraging nearby computing infrastructure.
Our current platform consists of a Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone (Windows Phone 7 is in planning) and several cloud services, including existing Microsoft offerings and some prototype services. The existing Microsoft offerings include Windows Azure for computation and data storage, Bing Maps for mapping services, and Windows Live ID for user identification. Prototype services support location awareness and notification.
Read more about the effort at the Project Hawaii home page here and Project Maui here.