Becoming both a PaaS and an IaaS provider may have been the golden ticket for Microsoft (MSFT). The company's Windows Azure cloud platform is showing 100 percent year-over-year growth and is adding 1,000 new customers daily. This is according to Mike Neil, general manager of Windows Azure, who was quoted recently talking up the significant growth of Microsoft's key cloud platform.
No matter how you slice it, it's a big ongoing win for Microsoft. The company has faced several hurdles in the cloud game, including scuffling with its channel over the ever more popular Office 365, but to compete, the company has also taken a few risks. And it looks like those are paying off.
Where most providers in the as-a-service space have chosen to either provide PaaS or IaaS, the decision earlier this year by Microsoft management to do both may have been one of the things to start bringing on customers in droves.
Unfortunately, as customers are being driven to Microsoft's warm embrace, the company is losing many of its top minds, including those in the cloud services area. Some of the driving forces behind Azure have left the company in recent months, after all. David Aiken left to join Aditi. Bill Hilf left the company slipped out of Microsoft's grasp to head Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) cloud business.
These weren't just small losses to the Microsoft knowledge network. Quite the opposite, actually.
But is it having much of an effect on customer acquisition? It doesn't seem like it. The Microsoft Windows Azure team has built cloud products that are obviously attracting attention, and even if some of those responsible for the cloud unit's leadership and direction have left, it looks like the company is still going strong.