So, here's an anecdotal story I'm sure you'll appreciate.
I have a great wife. She supports me through everything, which includes doing her best to find methods to be involved in my geeky ways. I write a lot about things that really make no sense to her at times, but usually if I can explain things to her in a way that she understands, I figure I'm on the right track. She's my measuring stick of sorts.
Yesterday evening, on a trip across town, she asked me about what was announced during Microsoft's Cloud event yesterday. She understood the event was pretty important to me, but I was still impressed she remembered. I proceeded to rattle off the six big announcements from yesterday (read those HERE if you missed it) and explain them as I went along.
I explained how Microsoft has significantly extended its Cloud presence through expansion to 19 Azure regions; how each region hosts 16 massive, football field-sized datacenters capable of housing 600,000 servers; how Azure receives over 10,000 new customers per week. I dug a bit into the new G-family of virtual machines and the new Azure Premium Storage offering. And, then I finished up by citing how the Microsoft Cloud is twice as large as AWS, and six times as large as Google.
At the end of my oral dissertation, I simply asked,
"What did you get from all that?"
"Microsoft get big."
Her response was both hilarious and spot on. But, it stuck. It was one of those phrases that ended up somehow seeping into every conversation the rest of the night. It was hard to forget.
And, I think the phrase says it all. And, it says it best (despite it having a very cavewoman-like sound to it). From a marketing perspective, its solid gold.
Based on the announcements and presentations from Microsoft's event yesterday, in combination with its messaging from the last year, it's clear that the company is building out a world-class Cloud computing experience. It's truly hard to think otherwise. I'm sure there are angles some could take to detract from what Microsoft has proposed as successes, but I don't believe there's anyone that could truthfully disparage the substance of the company's proposed direction and intent (except maybe in the hardware area). But, "get big" is much more than just an expanded Cloud presence or filling a stadium full of servers.
Microsoft is a very different company now, and it's truly amazing how quickly it has changed – all fueled by the Cloud. As little as two years ago, Microsoft was a Windows-centric entity. If you didn’t use Windows, the company hated you – you were an adversary. Today, Microsoft is positioning itself (successfully) as the herald of cross-platform, the constabulary of the Internet, and the people's champion of privacy and security, all while building out the largest, most resilient consumer and business Cloud.
That's big. Not just datacenter big, customer numbers big, or revenue big, but Microsoft is doing big things that many have held that the company could never do. Microsoft seems to be working on fulfilling the entire definition of the word big: large, important, outstanding, mature. I think we'll look back in a few years and it will be hard to remember a pre-Cloud Microsoft.
"Microsoft get big" – Mrs. Rod Trent, October 20, 2014
P.S. Hey, Microsoft. I'm trademarking the phrase, but completely willing to discuss offers.