Microsoft Azure has been receiving a lot of attention lately thanks to various events that have been transpiring over the last few weeks. If you've been following SharePoint Pro regularly, then you're probably aware about the slew of improvements that have been made to Azure recently, along with news about how pricing for Azure is being slashed by the company to match its competitors.
And if you've read my commentary, "Top Microsoft Azure Highlights: New Partnerships, Privacy Approval from EU, and More," then you're also aware that Microsoft's lined up two partnerships that will make it easier for customers to adopt Azure, and that the service wasn't impacted by the Heartbleed bug this week.
That's a lot of news on Azure.
So, what does this all mean from the big-picture perspective? Well, I see two big trends that deserve some explanation. First, Microsoft seems poised to make Azure the front-and-center technology that will essentially unify all other Microsoft services, including SharePoint, Office 365, Visual Studio, and SQL Server. And that's not entirely too surprising given the company's "One Microsoft" approach to find a seamless experience that can be expanded across all platforms.
Second, Microsoft is at a point where it's feeling extremely confident in the service. Not only are we seeing a proliferation of announcements surrounding Azure, but we're seeing the company make a concentrated effort to bolster the reputation of the service itself. The news around the Heartbleed security flaw and the fact that Azure doesn't rely on OpenSSL for its encryption couldn't have come at a better time for Microsoft. Couple that news with the fact that the European Union (EU) recently gave its seal of approval for Azure's privacy and security requirements, and the message that Microsoft's sending becomes incredibly clear. Not only is Microsoft making it easier to users to adopt at a cheaper price point than its competitors, but it's also working to capitalize on the fact that Azure has excellent security and privacy policies in place to garner trust and favor around the cloud service.
With that said, Azure seems to be a major focus for the company right now, and we'll undoubtedly see more announcements emerging from the company. Keep up with the latest developments on SharePoint Pro as we unveil them!