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2010: Year of the Cloud at Microsoft

Microsoft recently got in touch with me to see if they could write some kind of year-end story for Virtualization Review about their Server and Tools Business (STB). I told them I would be interested in a brief chronological history of 2010 highlights, and they agreed.

As you can see below, 2010 was a big year for the cloud in Redmond, starting with the GA of Windows Azure and SQL Azure in February, and ending in November with a Hyper-V Cloud program for private cloud deployments. In between, Steve Ballmer committed to the cloud and STB introduced Office 365, among other initiatives.

Microsoft also said it had 10,000 Azure customers in September, and it is looking to adding more rapidly in 2011 as it locks horns with VMware in a battle for market leadership.

Top news for Cloud/Virtualization in 2010:

FEBRUARY -- Microsoft announces Windows Azure GA (Official MS Blog, Windows Azure Team Blog)

MARCH -- Steve Ballmer's speech at University of Washington about the company's commitment to cloud computing (video): Ballmer plants the stake in the ground for Microsoft's cloud efforts moving forward

APRIL -- Bob Muglia highlights the importance of management as organizations think about cloud computing at MMS 2010 (keynote video)

JUNE -- Bob Muglia explains the process of delivering cloud to business customers at TechEd North America 2010 (press release, keynote video):

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 announced with new, improved virtualization tools for WS08 R2 and Win7
  • Windows Azure and SQL Azure feature updates provide better capabilities for cloud customers

JULY -- Guidance for Microsoft's partners on how to take advantage of cloud computing at WPC 2010 (press release, keynote video): Windows Azure platform appliance helps bring the power of Windows Azure to customer and service providers' own datacenters

OCTOBER -- Office 365, a cloud-based business productivity suite, is launched (press release, Q&A feature, video): Office desktop software, Office Web Apps, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync now available in the cloud

Developers learn about how to create for the cloud at PDC 2010 (press release, video, blog post):

  • Windows Azure roadmap rolled out, including a number of platform updates
  • Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role and Server Application Virtualization enable customers to get on the path to platform as a service

NOVEMBER -- Advancements to private clouds are announced at TechEd EMEA (press release, keynote video): Hyper-V Cloud program debuts, including programs for private cloud deployments and incentives for partners

Bob Muglia summarizes a busy fall for Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, spanning major events such as PDC, TechEd EMEA and PASS (Q&A feature)

Microsoft announces NCBI BLAST on Azure at Supercomputing 2010 (press release) Battle-testing the scalability of Windows Azure, NCBI BLAST on Azure puts the power of cloud computing in the hands of scientists and researchers.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 12/07/2010 at 12:48 PM


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