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Microsoft’s Azure – We Told You So…

Posted by Frank Gens on October 28th, 2008

Yesterday, as we had predicted, Microsoft finally announced its intent to become a major player in the rapidly-expanding cloud services market.  Here’s a clip from IDC Directions last March, predicting the “big boots” (including Microsoft’s) that would be jumping into the Cloud Computing world this year.

We’ve written for several years about the unique opportunity Microsoft has to play a market-maker role in industry’s shift to the Cloud, particularly by helping its thousands of application solution and channel partners migrate to the Software-as-a-Service delivery model.  SMBs (including in emerging markets) offer the under-penetrated opportunity that will economically fuel the industry’s transition to the cloud, and Microsoft (with its partners) is, by far, the strongest SMB player.

By announcing Windows Azure and the Azure Services Platform, the company is finally defining a cloud-based Microsoft is finally defining a cloud-based destination for its Windows-oriented partner ecosystem.destination for its Windows-oriented partner ecosystem to migrate their offerings and skills to. Details about pricing and wide-scale availability are still a bit murky – Microsoft spokespeople claim the roll-out schedule will depend on the response of their partners; if that’s so, my guess is there will be great pressure on Microsoft to move quickly, given the growth we predict.

We’ll be commenting more on the Microsoft announcement, here as well as on idc.com.  But my main reactions are:  1) This is good news for Microsoft, its partners and cloud services market growth, and 2) It’s about time – now, Microsoft, keep the pace up.

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One Response to “Microsoft’s Azure – We Told You So…”

Not sure this is such a great idea for the service providers. Why? Because once Microsoft takes away their clients, they are reduced to becoming MS resellers and nothing else. An alternative view is that service providers must provide their own clouds. We see this in the moves that Rackspace and Softlayer have made to deliver cloud services and storage.

See also: http://cloudstoragestrategy.com/2009/05/citrix-and-amazon-not-the-best-deal-for-service-providers.html
The article talks about storage as a profit center for service providers. Why would they hand over their margins to Microsoft?

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