Just last year, Microsoft made significant inroads by jumping into the Enterprise Application Platform as a Server (aPaaS) in the Magic Quadrant report release from Gartner. Since then, the company has placed significant emphasis on other areas of its Microsoft Azure service, with steady releases of new products, new features, and new capabilities. The device and services company continues to blur the lines between what on-premises and the Public Cloud look like.
Today, Gartner has rewarded Microsoft for its efforts and placed the company into the Leader bracket for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
The report shows Amazon Web Services (AWS) clearly in the lead, but relates a steady climb by the Redmond-based company. Microsoft will probably not catch Amazon too soon, but the company's unremitting advances and rapid development release cycles could cause Amazon trouble in the near future.
Some other pieces of note from the report that interested me personally…
Google, seen as a visionary and just added this year, carries caution (though Gartner actually describes it as a strength) due to how the company wants to force customers to "run like Google," and sound more like "do it our way or go somewhere else."
IBM is seen as a visionary but I'm not sure anyone is aware of what that vision truly is. IBM has made significant investments through acquisitions and it'll be some time before anyone can understand how those will surface due to how slow integrations generally happen.
HP is listed as a niche player and that has to sting somewhat. Despite the recent round of announced layoffs, the company truly wants to be a big time Cloud player. Falling into the niche category means the company still has quite a way to go.
Rackspace is rising closer to the top of the niche player category, however, with recent rumors about the company looking to exit the market, we may not see them again in this report.
And finally, VMware, not even part of this report a year ago, seems to have been added through great scrutiny because the cautions in this area appear to outweigh the strengths. VMware is still considered a virtualization company that is championed by those without the purse strings and according to the Cautions section, has made some bad partnering decisions, leaving the company to play catchup with its own offerings.
There are others that may interest you and I suggest reading through the entire report, particularly if you are now identifying criteria for selecting an IaaS provider. The full report is here: Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service