Microsoft Azure quietly continues to grow

Microsoft Azure quietly continues to grow

WindowsAzure

When people think “big public cloud”, certain names come to mind: Amazon, Rackspace, Maybe Google. Even Apple, for some reason, although they don’t really have a true cloud offering (although the use of the word “cloud” in iCloud, plus the popularity of the iPhone, has done them a lot of favours) – but people often seem to forget that Microsoft is out there, with it’s public cloud offering, Azure – and it’s been slowly and quietly growing into a bigger and more serious offering.

In the last quarter, Microsoft’s cloud services has seen a 10% increase in revenue, bringing the server and services revenue for the quarter to almost $13 billion USD (or just under $15 billion Australian).

The Windows Azure cloud has remained somewhat under the radar since its launch in 2010 and has certainly had its fair share of bad press, in their start-up phase (and some recent issues, too). None the less, Microsoft has been integrating their cloud offerings more deeply into the server based products, making it easier and easier for system admins to utilise. The current range of Server 2012 (R2) products has such deep integration that backups, replication and other tasks are natively integrated into the operating system, making Azure the default choice for many IT shops.

Additionally, through use of the Windows Azure pack, many cloud computing companies are able to offer Azure or Azure like services to their customers. As such, the name is slowly starting to break into the mainstream of cloud computing and, given the deep integration we’re now seeing, this trend is likely to continue.

In the same quarter (which includes the holiday period) Microsoft actually had some good times in their consumer range, with revenue of about $25 billion in total (up 14%). Even their much beleaguered Surface range of tablets picked up, with revenue more than doubling from $400 million up to just shy of $900 million. Windows Phone based handsets, however, remain terribly unpopular, with a 29% drop in Nokia’s already dismal sales.

Having a strong server and cloud offering is probably essential to Microsoft’s future, at this stage, as they appear to have well and truly missed the boat on the mobile market and could face an increasing decline in their relevance in the home and consumer market, over the coming years. With companies like Steam looking to push gamers onto Linux and nearly all PC OEMs now opening cooperating with Google on Android, the days of Windows dominance may be coming to a close.

About the Author

RodneyI'm a veteran of way too many years of IT (although I still love it) and I currently head up the techincal work over at Host One (major sponsor of this site), where I'm also a partner. Feel free to ask me anything about Cloud Computing and I'll try to be helpful, in a non-salesy kind of way.View all posts by Rodney →

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