Microsoft today announced that the open source Kubernetes container management platform is now generally available to control clusters of containers in the Azure public cloud.\nIncreasingly developers are, or want to, use containers when writing new applications. It\u2019s a way of packaging the code that makes up an application into a container, which can then be run in the cloud, on a developer\u2019s laptop or wherever the container runtime is supported.\n+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: How Philips is turning toothbrushes and MRI machines into IoT devices +\nThe problem thusfar with containers has been that when developers use a lot of them, management can be tricky. That\u2019s where the market for container orchestrators has come from and one of the leading platforms in this market is Kubernetes.\nKuberntes is an offshoot of the software that Google uses to help manage its use of containers. Google open sourced the project in 2014 and since then its been donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which has cultivated a community that continues to build and develop Kubernetes. Last year Microsoft announced a preview of its support for Kuberntes in Azure cloud, and today Microsoft announced Kubernetes support is now generally available.\nWhat does that mean? When developers are using containers in Azure cloud, they use the Azure Container Service to run the containers. When managing the containers, they\u2019re now have three options: Use Windows Server Containers, use Kubernetes, or use DC\/OS, the software from Mesosphere, which is another container orchestration platform.\nMicrosoft GA\u2019ing support for Kubernetes is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it gives developers and organizations a fairly easy way to get started using containers in the Azure cloud, then if they want to take the next step of deploying containers at scale, they now have the option to use arguably the leading container management platform in Kubernetes to do so. That\u2019s a win for developers and organizations, and a positive for Azure that it supports that use case. Arguably though Google has a better platform for running Kubernetes in its Container Engine \u2013 after all, they invented Kubernetes.\nIt\u2019s also an important step for Microsoft. The company under CEO Satya Nadella says it\u2019s committed to open source. It runs Linux virtual machines; it offers open source databases. And now, in the container world, which is driven by open source tools based on Linux, it\u2019s adding the open source container manager Kubernetes.\nLastly, Microsoft is putting pressure on AWS in making this move. AWS offers its own Elastic Container Service (ECS). Sure you can run Kubernetes or DC\/OS on top of the AWS Container Service. But, it\u2019s not as simple of an integration as what Microsoft has launched with its support for Kubernetes. This move is a sign that Microsoft continues to put the pressure on AWS in the IaaS public cloud market.