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Why Doesn't Harvard Want To Talk About Its Mystery Microsoft Azure Project? (geekwire.com) 51

theodp writes: GeekWire's Tom Krazit reports, "Microsoft Azure appears to have scored a high-profile customer: Harvard University's prestigious CS50 computer science class, not that anybody wants to talk about it." A deleted-today-but-still-cached Microsoft Technical Case Study on the software giant's GitHub account touts the success of a recent DevOps collaboration effort between Microsoft's Azure team and an unnamed "major U.S. research university." "This U.S. university is world-class," explains the case study, "well known for its research and its alumni. For now, they would prefer to remain anonymous, so this document will refer to them as 'the university' (the case study web page, however, is a not-so-anonymous 'CS50.html')." Like many IT projects, there seems to be a disconnect between the software vendor and the client. "The project we defined and delivered was exactly what they were looking for," boasts the case study's three Microsoft authors, who add that "full deployment and migration will wait until summer." Contacted for comment by GeekWire, however, Harvard CS professor extraordinaire David Malan seemed less committed to the relationship. "We're actually still on AWS," Malan wrote, "though most every summer we do tend to re-evaluate our apps' architecture for the coming year, with AWS, Azure, Google, et al. always among the candidates. So no plans yet, but happy to reach out toward summer's end if we've made any decisions!"
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Why Doesn't Harvard Want To Talk About Its Mystery Microsoft Azure Project?

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  • spoiler alert. it will be something dumb.

  • Obvious really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday May 11, 2017 @08:28PM (#54403217)
    Obvious really - when a vendor uses a client for advertising purposes without warning it puts extra unwanted pressure on the client.
    That's why ethical companies don't do that sort of thing to their customers.
    • Re:Obvious really (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Thursday May 11, 2017 @08:46PM (#54403305)

      They supposedly did a similar thing to a former employer, wherein former employer was bound by contract not to discuss the project, but there was some desire by MS to leak it. So every employee was invited to examine this project, hoping someone would leak it.

      It backfired, it was so disinteresting that no one cared enough to leak it, so they had to find some other way. When the project was finally announced, absolutely no one was interested in it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      When your software vender is more interested in your brand than their software...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It wasn't that Harvard doesn't want to talk about it, but that nobody wants to listen. Nobody is curious about this and nobody cares.

    • It wasn't that Harvard doesn't want to talk about it, but that nobody wants to listen. Nobody is curious about this and nobody cares.

      Obviously Slashdot does, look at the number of replies here.

      • by donaldm ( 919619 )

        It wasn't that Harvard doesn't want to talk about it, but that nobody wants to listen. Nobody is curious about this and nobody cares.

        Obviously Slashdot does, look at the number of replies here.

        Not really. I come here for the popcorn although you are never too sure if you are getting sweet, tasty or bland. Still, with Microsoft being mentioned you can be sure of plenty of salt which in large quantities can be bad for you. :)

  • You don't talk about Mystery Project. (You know the rest [diggingforfire.net] ...)

  • I don't know. (Score:2, Insightful)

    The real question is why, with just a word salad summary, should I give a shit?
  • This was a few yrs ago.

    Heard about a former employer saying we were going to switch all our IT compute resources over the Azure. I started laughing because we had 20K physical Unix (HP/IBM/Sun/Teradata/etc) boxes running software that does not exist on Intel platforms. We also had 20K physical Windows servers - about half had VMware-whatever on them.
    Seems the Microsoft Sales team took the local business guys on a week-long junket to show off everything (and perhaps a few "fun" places outside work. Guess t

    • The Azure deal was killed. Something about impossible claims being made.

      That shouldn't have been allowed. The company should have been required to move everything to Azure, and for things where that was impossible, those things should have simply been shut down. The company made the choice to buy MS's bullshit, so they should have been required to follow through, even if it killed them. This would have been a great warning for other companies making dumb decisions.

  • An organisation doesn't want to publicly discuss their IT infrastructure? Doesn't want to be involved in free publicity for a giant corporation? What has the world come to.
  • If I started using Azure for something important and expensive, the last thing I'd want to do is to tell anyone about it.

    "Hey, we're on a discount right now, so it's okay, but we've started using a cloud provider with a shitty reputation for security. Once the discount period ends, we'll be paying more than we could at any number of competitors".

    Doesn't sound too bright to me ;-)

  • I work in a very traditional environment that has just started putting their toes in the water on a few Azure projects. Because I'm the guy on our engineering team who likes learning new stuff, I sort of got tasked with figuring it out and teaching everyone else.

    I think the main reason Microsoft is trying to get major educational clients on board is to get people used to Azure as the default deployment method for workloads. A lot of what they're doing makes a lot of sense but requires you to think in a diff

  • I work for a private software company. We have a lot of customers. We don't use the customer's name without their consent, and this also generally implies that not only the executives sign off on the use, but also the legal department. This might also be part of a sales negotiation, where the publicity of landing a big well known name as a reference account can be worth something in terms of selling into other similar accounts. I know that we get permission for the use of other companies logos on our slides

  • It's probably that such a prestigious university doesn't want anyone to know it's using microsoft's crappy cloud for anything that matters

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