February 2, 2011
The Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing platform is celebrating its first birthday amid mixed success. To help kick off year two, Xerox has signed on to build a Cloud Print managed service on Azure. Xerox says it was able to go from zero to full-fledged cloud application in only four weeks thanks to Windows Azure and SQL Azure. Here are some details — and some clues to Azure’s future.
Xerox already offered managed print services to MSPs under the PagePack brand. In 2010, Xerox also launched a service to enable smartphone users to route any document to a networked printer, a la Google Cloud Print. But the offering’s been extended with Xerox Cloud Print, which takes the concept and applies it to any machine — meaning any networked printer is fair game for a user on the run, according to the press release.
In a prepared statement, Chief Engineer of Global Document Outsources at Xerox Eugene Shustef praised the speed of development and flexibility the Azure platform provides:
“For a very small investment, we can try a new project and see if it works, close it down tomorrow, or ramp it up immediately. The Windows Azure platform enables us to do that — cloud computing lowers the barrier to innovation.”
When Windows Azure launched on February 1, 2010, TalkinCloud sister site The VAR Guy noted that it was with a whimper, not a bang. And more recently, TalkinCloud’s been known to say that Windows Azure’s future hinged on its developer support base. Well, since 2011 started, we’ve talked to one startup that was so dedicated to the Windows Azure offering that they’ve based their business around it, and now Xerox — hardly a Johnny-come-lately — is extolling its virtues.
So while we may have some doubts as to Microsoft’s master plan when it comes to the cloud, Microsoft Windows Azure looks to be building some momentum in and outside of the channel. Keep watching TalkinCloud for updates.
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