Earlier this month, Microsoft cloud and enterprise executive VP Satya Nadella argued that the company will dominate a fair share of the $2 trillion cloud market. The company will prove a cloud powerhouse, he wrote in a blog post, due to several specific strengths, rounded up by InformationWeek:
Microsoft is prepared to lead the enterprise cloud charge, which he characterized as a potential $2 trillion market, because of three strengths: a strong SaaS portfolio that includes Office 365, Bing, Xbox Live and more than 200 others; a massive public cloud in Windows Azure; and a viable hybrid model that provides businesses the tools and infrastructure to explore the cloud while still keeping data secure and extending the use of existing hardware. He said Microsoft is the only cloud provider that can boast these assets and that its new wave of products represent significant advancements across all areas.
Microsoft also released a number of product and service updates on October 8, including new discounts to the Azure platform. All this continues to impress on the enterprise markets (the consumers may be paying slightly less attention to the company’s announcements) Microsoft’s determination to expand both product and services offerings simultaneously. And at the heart of it, a continued push to the cloud.
With the release came a number of server and system updates that will keep the enterprise markets happy. Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 were both announced. They also announced a new feature for Windows Server 2012 R2: a remote desktop app for a slew of operating systems, including Windows, Windows RT, Android, OS X and iOS.
There will also be a new Azure, dedicated and designed for the needs and security of government customers. A government-only cloud offers a strong statement of commitment to a significant part of the enterprise market.
Other technical announcements include VisualStudio2013 and .Net 4.5.1, as well as SQL Server 2014, as we’ve been hearing about. InformationWeek reports: “A second preview of SQL Server 2014 that it claims offers 10 to 30 times better performance as well as backup and disaster recovery through Azure.”
All this does not assuage many concerns from critics and even those within the Microsoft community that it’s two-pronged “devices and services” plan will work long-term. Disastrous sales of the Surface tablets and the recent acquisition of the Nokia brand present an interesting scenario. The criticism is often that “the company is trying too hard to be like consumer-centric Apple, rather than focusing on its core business and institutional customers.”
Are these newest offerings for the enterprise market enough to prove, at least initially, that Microsoft is committed to the enterprise cloud market? We’ll keep watching.
What do you think about Microsoft’s slew of fall product announcements? How do you see them within that larger “devices and services” plan?