As the ramp-up towards the January launch of Microsoft’s Azure platform reaches a crescendo, it’s worth asking whether the software giant, of all companies, could be the most significant revenue driver for the cloud in 2010. While cloud adoption is practically a foregone conclusion in IT circles, cloud computing revenues still pale in comparison to total corporate IT spending. To drive significant revenue growth in 2010, cloud computing software and service providers need the simplest, fastest ways to move more spending from enterprise deployments to the cloud. And Microsoft, Azure, and the Windows ecosystem could emerge as the catalysts.
In December, Microsoft reorganized by forming a Server and Cloud division, following a slow and steady rollout of Microsoft Azure throughout 2009. The updates included all the usual tactics of getting developers, service providers, and early customers on the bandwagon. In November, Microsoft officials held court at the company’s Professional Developers Conference, seeking to engage the development community. It became clear there that while Azure does not equal Windows, common development frameworks like .NET deliver a more seamless bridge between on-premise and cloud deployments than existed previously.
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