Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Microsoft Azure Re-Branding : Is Microsoft Moving beyond Windows?

In my last article, I had written than 2014 will the year, Windows will lose the OS crown and Google's Android will be the new emperor.

Today, I got to know that Microsoft has started acknowledging this change and is re-branding its Windows Azure Cloud Service as Microsoft Azure.

The re-branding exercise is a BIG message. Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Microsoft is sending a message to the whole world that Microsoft is moving beyond Windows and he will transform the company in new ways.

Azure Cloud Services

For a long time, Microsoft's Windows Azure Cloud services was the second largest cloud offering and today Azure is a cloud power to reckon with. During this time, cloud services has grown and matured and is now ready for prime time. In face of this change, Azure must adopt and embrace an Open & Extensible cloud infrastructure. Else customers will move to other service providers such as RackSpace, Vmware's vCHS, or Verizon's Terremark, etc.

As a product manager at EMC's ASD division which makes solutions for building private/public cloud services,   I have always preached the need for an open and extensible system and to me, it looks like Microsoft is finally embracing a Open and Extensible cloud services, and re-branding exercise is a very public acknowledgment.

Microsoft Azure - An Open Cloud

For a long time, Azure, ever since its creation supported only Windows OS to be run on the virtual machines, and also restricted it to Microsoft tools - MS-SQL, .Net, etc.

But now things have changed and once run Oracle databases & middle ware, Java, PHP, Phyton etc. Today, customers can even run Linux as a guest OS on the virtual machines.

As Microsoft embraces Open architecture, I am sure, Microsoft will allow customers to use VMware ESX hypervisor and Linux or Android or Windows as guest OS. Microsoft will open up Azure to a host of other non-Microsoft technologies as well.

Microsoft Azure - An Extensible Cloud

Azure was always a public cloud, run on Microsoft premises and managed by Microsoft. Now with the launch of Vmware's vCHS - which is a hybrid cloud, Microsoft will have follow suit and allow hybrid cloud services as well - where customers can choose to use Azure in their private cloud or public cloud or a mix of both. This implies that Azure platform will have to be made open and extensible to interact with customer's private cloud.

I would predict that Microsoft will soon release a new set of cloud development tools to help customers extend Azure cloud services to their in-house private clouds and also enable customers to move data & compute workloads in & out of Azure's public cloud.

Closing Thoughts

As Windows loses its relevance in the personal computing space. Microsoft is extending its Office suite to iPad. Microsoft is expected to launch Office of iPad this Thursday March 27 2014.

All this re-positioning indicates that Satya Nadella is determined to change Microsoft and move the company beyond the Windows world!

Also see: 

Move Over Windows, Android is the New Emperor

1 comment:

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