The only constant in the cloud computing market is change, as Microsoft proved by advancing Azure IaaS from public preview to primetime public general availability, and Microsoft is price matching Amazon.
I recently caught up with Mike Neil, General Manager for Windows Azure, and he put it simply by saying "price shouldn't matter for our customers." Microsoft is focused on delivering a hybrid solution that encompasses existing on-premise investments, Azure IaaS and a fast-growing list of service providers that I got a glimpse into last week at Microsoft Management Summit. Mr. Neil shared that it "must be cloud on your terms," referring to how Microsoft customers have an enormous opportunity to embrace cloud computing with a full service of offerings from Microsoft.
According to Mr. Neil, Microsoft is capturing 1,000 new Azure customers on a daily basis and he expects this to only accelerate with the public general availability of Azure and its aggressive price matching strategy. Microsoft will match Amazon pricing and maintain lock step pricing with Amazon as they continue to change pricing.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post dedicated to the Microsoft Management Summit, the Microsoft Cloud OS strategy of on-prem, Azure, and the service provider revolves around the consistency of experience and services across each of the consumption models. With this focus Microsoft then extends service offerings beyond the core out to application developers with Azure PaaS and into the hands of the ultimate end-user with Office 365.
Microsoft has some pretty significant hurdles to overcome in the PC, tablet, and smartphone market, but at the core they are demonstrating the focus and determination to help IT organizations embrace new services that reside outside the walls of their business.