Redmond View

Microsoft Builds on Mobile-First, Cloud-First

Microsoft's is looking to spark renewed enterprise focus for the company with Azure and increasing BYOD options.

At a workshop in Redmond last month, Microsoft gave a deep dive on quite a few new releases for enterprise IT pros and developers, outlined by the company at its annual TechEd conference in Houston. While Microsoft didn't preview the next release of Windows Server or System Center, the offerings and previews the company introduced suggest its "mobile-first, cloud-first" strategy is more than just the slogan du jour.

Consider the fact that Satya Nadella used his first public appearance as the new Microsoft CEO to launch Office 365 for the iPad and the Enterprise Mobility Suite, noted Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson. "The two things he announced was Office going cross-platform and the introduction of the Enterprise Mobility Suite," Anderson said. "I think that helps you to understand the importance of the mobility suite."

Redmond's focus on extending Microsoft Azure with new features such as ExpressRoute, which gives organizations dedicated high-speed connections from their datacenters to the Microsoft cloud and co-location facilities via carrier MPLS connections, underscores the company's hybrid cloud strategy is predicated on offering enterprise-grade compute and storage.

While Azure remains in the shadow of Amazon Web Services cloud offerings, it's making substantial progress. Microsoft says Azure now hosts 25 trillion storage objects, 2.5 million requests per second, 1 million SQL databases and 300 million Azure Active Directory users, which process 13 billion authentications per week.

It appears Microsoft is now in tune with the realities of the IT world and choices consumers are making. No longer do Microsoft officials shun the Apple iOS or Google Android. In fact, they have embraced the competing platforms.

Executives at Microsoft appear reinvigorated by the path Nadella has articulated with "mobile-first, cloud-first." Anderson told us he's having more fun than he's had in the past 15 years. "It's a great time to be at Microsoft," Anderson said." Now, company officials are hoping IT decision makers feel it's a great time to be a Microsoft customer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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