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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

October 21, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Analysts find some of Microsoft’s growing cloud metrics eye-catching

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times Oct. 21, 2014.]

At a small gathering in San Francisco for reporters and analysts Monday, Microsoft announced a number of new cloud products and services.

But it wasn’t so much the offerings themselves that grabbed attention as some of the figures that Microsoft executives threw out.

For instance:

Eighty percent of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft’s cloud, said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise division.

The company is adding 10,000 customers a week to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform. Revenue from Microsoft’s cloud offerings more than doubled last fiscal year, with an annual revenue run rate now up to $4.4 billion.

And next week the company is planning to make Azure generally available in the Australia region, tallying up 19 regions where Azure is operational, as the company expands the platform worldwide.

“The thing that took me by surprise a little was just the level of investment they’re making. It’s huge,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst with research firm IDC. “It appears that Microsoft is investing in Azure at a scale that few others are able to match. It is definitely early days, but 19 regions made up of the type of building templates that Azure uses is a blowout metric for the cloud industry at this time.”

Indeed, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has placed the cloud at the center of his vision for the company. His repeated refrain of a “mobile first, cloud first” strategy for the company centers on individuals who are able to be mobile because of devices that can connect to cloud services from anywhere.

After arriving late to the cloud game several years ago, Redmond-based Microsoft has since been investing heavily, now offering products in all three major categories of cloud services. Those are: Software as a Service (or “SaaS” in tech parlance), in which software services such as Office 365 or those from Salesforce.com are accessed online; Platform as a Service (PaaS), in which the provider offers cloud-based tools for developers to create apps, and storage and computing power to host and run those apps; and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), in which the provider offers virtual machines, servers, storage and other computing infrastructure via the Internet.

So aggressive has Microsoft been in its cloud aspirations that financial analyst Rick Sherlund with investment bank Nomura said in a note to investors last month that, taking SaaS, PaaS and IaaS altogether, “Microsoft is likely to be the largest cloud vendor by the December quarter and growing the fastest of the leading players.”

 

[Continue reading the story here.]

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: azure, cloud

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