Microsoft promises to reduce prices for cloud WS2008 licenses

Is Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) a competitor to Amazon or a vendor? The answer is both and that means that Microsoft (the vendor) will be bowing to pressure from Amazon and offering a simpler, cheaper Windows cloud hosting licensing deal to Amazon and others, according to an interview published in InformationWeek. So says Microsoft server and tools division president Bob Muglia.

And why not? Amazon was among a handful of vendors that began offering hosted Windows Server 2008 about six months ago. Microsoft plans to offer its own Windows cloud, Azure Services, but Azure won't completely compete with the Windows clouds from companies like Amazon and ServePath. Says the InformationWeek story:

"Microsoft doesn't plan to license its in-development Windows Azure OS to Amazon or other third parties. Microsoft is reserving Windows Azure as a platform for its own cloud services. Other cloud service providers wanting to run Windows inside their data centers will have to make do with Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008."

Muglia has also begun evangelizing Windows Server as the tool for building inhouse private Windows clouds. He points out that cloud-friendly features have already worked their way into Windows Server 2008 R2, with more to come. System Center, too, will be revamped to help companies build and manage their own private Windows clouds. For instance, a related InformationWeek article notes a feature in WS2008 R2 that reportedly makes it easier to boot multiple virtual instances of an operating system, a feature that came from Windows Azure. Eventually, years down the road, Microsoft plans on taking the lessons it learns from managing Azure to create a version of Systems Center for private cloud infrastructures.

Microsoft has been somewhat mum about Azure, compared to the promotional efforts it has made around its other cloud technologies, such as .Net Services, its technologies for bringing .Net apps to the cloud. The company has promised that Azure will support standards and interoperate with non-Windows, non-Microsoft technologies (such as those based on Java).

For .Net developers ready to experiment with Microsoft's cloud, the Azure Services Platform is available as a Community Technology Review. On Friday, Microsoft also released a new Azure Training Kit. According to Microsoft, the kit will teach you about Windows Azure, .NET Services, SQL Services, and Live Services and includes:

    • 11 hands-on labs – including new hands-on labs for PHP and Native Code on Windows Azure.
    • 18 demo scripts – These demo scripts are designed to provide detailed walkthroughs of key features so that someone can easily give a demo of a service
    • 9 presentations – the presentations used for our 3 day training workshops including speaker notes

Also see:

5 Tactics Microsoft Is Using To Battle Linux for Cloud Dominance

Since when did cloud computing become/need a manifesto?

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