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Microsoft Pushes To Further Distance Itself from AWS

Ask most people what companies are Microsoft's biggest rivals and some will say Apple but most will identify Google. Several published reports even point to powers in Redmond as a key force behind regulators coming down on the search giant this week. IT pros may throw VMware and Red Hat in the mix of major Microsoft competitors but its neighbor Amazon Web Services is right up there having launched its famous cloud infrastructure services years ahead of Microsoft. Even the entry of Azure got off to a slow start, lacking a complete infrastructure service to rival the offerings of AWS.

Microsoft talked up the kink in the armor last year when Amazon shocked investors with heavier-than-expected losses, due primarily to its investments in AWS. Anyone who knows Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is aware he's not going to throw in the towel on AWS that quickly, though there are some who'd like to see him agree to spin off the cloud business into a separate company. But Bezos' rationale around AWS was always to let the two businesses feed off each other.

Proponents of a divestiture could be buoyed or deflated depending on what Amazon's numbers look like when it reports next week but, to date, history is not on its side. While we've reported on gains by Microsoft, IBM and numerous others at the expense of AWS, by no means is it game over for Amazon, which continues to crank out new offerings on a weekly basis. Consider over the past week when AWS held one of its regional summits, this one in San Francisco. The company pointed to the fact that software partners continue to extend support for AWS' services, simplified its Amazon Machine Learning service, announced its new new Elastic File Storage service and has extended its burgeoning Amazon WorkSpaces offering.

Rarely does a week go by when where isn't something new coming out from what is still the largest provider of infrastructure services, which is why Redmond parent company 1105 Media has launched the new AWSInsider site, which debuted this week. This new sister site is a welcome addition to our portfolio, but in no way will diminish the way Redmond covers AWS for Microsoft-focused IT pros. Rather it only promises to enhance it.

The timing couldn't be better as AWS Furiously Fights off Cloud Competitors. And it's number one antagonist and Pacific Northwest rival Microsoft is about to step up that battle in the coming weeks at its Build conference in two weeks and Ignite in early May. In a preview leading up to Microsoft's big splash,  Jeffrey Snover, lead architect for the Windows Server division, last week talked about six key sessions he'll be participating with the likes of Azure CTO Mark Russinovich, where they'll talk about the company's datacenter vision moving forward, which includes the combination of new versions of Windows Server, System Center, and Azure. A key component will go deep on how this new datacenter vision extends its hybrid cloud platform, aka Cloud OS, with new levels of automation aided by PowerShell's Desired State Configuration and support for containers.

It will be interesting to see how the new offerings coming from not only Microsoft and AWS but all of the major players as well as the lesser known ones, who will also play a key role in how organizations view and procure IT in the future.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/16/2015 at 1:19 PM


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