Microsoft Taking Azure to the Streets
That headline might go a little far, but Microsoft has announced plans to hold workshops across the United States to educate VARs and other IT pros about what Windows Azure is, what it can do, and how best to deploy it. It seems like the closer we get to the February 1 grand opening of Azure, the more eager Microsoft is to push their new cloud platform.
When I first heard about Azure, I was a little skeptical. It seemed like Microsoft was just looking to make a token nod to software as a service models, and they would go back to releasing version after version of Windows Server as soon as no one was looking. I thought a version of Windows that lived in the cloud was just too risky for the often-conservative company.
That’s why I’m pleasantly surprised at the announcement of this lecture series: it really sounds like Microsoft is serious about Windows Azure’s success and is making a really strong effort to educate the IT channel about the benefits of the cloud. In that same vein, the Redmond giant has released a TCO/ROI calculator to demonstrate how much a VAR might save by leveraging Azure.
Yes, we’re all skeptical of TCO and ROI calculators. But I think we’re all addicted to them, too.
The Microsoft workshops are also going to deal with Hyper-V and Windows 7 deployments. But the fact that they’re uttering “Azure” in the same breath as their new golden child Windows 7 shows just how serious Microsoft is getting. As always, expect more as that February 1st launch date draws nearer.