With the announcement of Azure, Microsoft has finally made it's cloud computing plans public. Maybe Larry Ellison is now ready to revise his opinion, huh? While this announcement is definitely a good thing, it also seems to be a defensive move on the software giant's part. In a USA Today article "Ray Valdes, an analyst at researcher Gartner, said that Microsoft's Web services strategy still isn't cohesive. It's "taking every major asset of intellectual property, and cloud-enabling it to some degree."
Key components of the Azure Services Platform include:
- Windows Azure for service hosting and management, low-level scalable storage, computation and networking;
- Microsoft SQL Services for a wide range of database services and reporting;
- Microsoft .NET Services which are service-based implementations of familiar .NET Framework concepts such as workflow and access control;
- Live Services for a consistent way for users to store, share and synchronize documents, photos, files and information across their PCs, phones, PC applications and Web sites;
- Microsoft SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration and rapid solution development in the cloud.
When this is coupled with Amazon's October 1st announcement to host Microsoft solutions on its EC2 platform, one can only wonder how long it will take before agencies just stop buying licenses and paying for maintenance on these products.