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Window Azure Now a $1 Billion Business

Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud computing solution has hit the $1 billion sales mark, according to a recent press account.

The news, which wasn't cited in Microsoft's fiscal third-quarter report announced earlier this month, was attributed to Curt Anderson, chief financial officer at the Microsoft Server and Tools Business Division, per an account by Bloomberg on Monday. Microsoft's Server and Tools Division delivered $5 billion of Microsoft's $20.5 billion in revenue during the quarter, but specific details about the various products in that division, such as the performance of Windows Azure, weren't broken down. The Server and Tools Business Division also includes products such as SQL Server, System Center, Visual Studio, Windows Embedded and Premier Support Services.

Microsoft did disclose in its fiscal Q3 report that Windows Azure Active Directory is now being used by "over 2.9 million businesses" for Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Intune and Windows Azure.

Microsoft officials also told Bloomberg that Windows Azure subscriptions have increased 48 percent over the last six months. Moreover, the company rolled its new Windows Azure Infrastructure Services this month and has since added 10,000 Windows Azure customers, according to Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s vice president for marketing at Server and Tools Business, per Bloomberg.

Microsoft is said to have more than 100,000 Windows Azure accounts, according to a blog post in October by James Staten, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, who covers the cloud market. (Microsoft told The New York Times earlier this month that it had "200,000 Windows Azure customers," which may be different than "accounts.") He added that the computing use of Windows Azure is "doubling every six months." Still, Microsoft has a ways to go to catch up with Amazon Web Services, which has a cloud platform market share as great as 70 percent, according to Staten.

Microsoft has been churning out Windows Azure improvements faster since Satya Nadella was appointed as president of Server and Tools Business about two years ago, according to Staten. One example is Microsoft's new VPN improvements to Windows Azure, which were announced shortly after Microsoft rolled out its new Windows Azure Infrastructure Services to compete with Amazon.

Microsoft is no stranger to having products that bring in $1 billion in sales. Veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley counted more than 12 products having that distinction in a recent blog post. Microsoft Dynamics is one of those products, although much of its sales come from the CRM side.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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