This Week in the Cloud: PaaS, Datacenters & Xbox

This past week Dell announced that it’s jumping on the OpenStack bandwagon, Heroku expanded support for Python and Google announced new data centers in Asia. Finally, Microsoft acquired a home automation startup and revealed what is widely suspected to be a timer to the Xbox 720 debut.

Dell’s head of cloud strategy says his company is planning to launch an OpenStack-powered offering that will rival HP Cloud Services as soon as the technology is mature enough to implement -– that is, without forking it (too much).

Salesforce also had a big public cloud announcement this week. The most recent, its Heroku development platform introduced support for Python 3.3.0, the latest version of the second most popular programming language behind Java. The standard introduces some offers with more native capabilities than its predecessors, but does not yet support some of the more-widely used libraries that have become an key part of every Python developer’s arsenal.

Google meanwhile has been working on improving the quality of service for users in emerging markets. The Times of India reported Wednesday that the search giant is opening up a new facility in Asia to improve performance for the hundred million Indian users that access its service on a regular basis. A spokesperson said the company  opted not to build the data center in India because of the hot climate in region, which is far from adequate for servers that have to be kept cool at all times as efficiently as possible.

The last major update from this week comes from the personal cloud. Microsoft acquired home automation startup R2 Studios a day before one of its Xbox engineers posted a timer on his personal blog. He didn’t mention what’s coming, but many game enthusiasts are convinced it’s the Xbox 720, Microsoft’s next generation game.