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Microsoft's server division undergoes major changes

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Jul. 12, 2010

In the last few weeks, Microsoft's US $14 billion server division has undergone some major changes in order to increase more revenue from MS' Windows Azure Cloud Service without cannibalizing the company's Windows Server products. The move is seen as an important one in some IT circles.

Now, Microsoft's Windows Azure Cloud Service has hired new business development executives whose goal is to quickly build easily sellable products and services and sign up VARs, resellers and developer partners, according to Microsoft.

New budgets and new resources have both been allocated to Project Talisker, a months' old initiative to build and sell versions of Azure that MS customers and hosting partners can run on their own servers.

A new communications unit has also been created to try and push a unified and consistent cloud-computing message spanning all S&T products and services.

Microsoft has even accelerated its plans to let people outside of its own data centers run versions of the Azure computing and storage fabric, something that the software giant has never done before.

This critical company overhaul is already been put into effect, for Microsoft's new fiscal year that began on July 1st. Microsoft is expected to start its new initiative by sending partners with "cloud messages" at this weeks' World Wide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C.

This latest shake-up at the world's largest software company is designed to make money from Azure and cloud by spanning the company's diverse products. The company believes it has "opportunity to grow significantly in the Tier 1 Enterprise" and cloud segment but that it's also under "intensive competitive pressure" from VMware, Oracle, and especially LAMP – the open-source stack of Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl, PHP and Python rocking the cloud.

Communications are normally carried out on a product-by-product basis, but the company's new unit stands in its own right and has been equally ranking with MS' infrastructure marketing in the past, business platform, and developer marketing units under Bob Kelly, Eduardo Rosini and Eddie Amos.

The move means Microsoft is taking a leaf from IBM's book of marketing so-called "solutions" that wrap in disparate and integrated products. Some say that Microsoft is about 10 years behind IBM in terms of 'locking in Enterprise clients' with the "solutions" moniker. Others disagree.

Whatever the outcome is, a new joint data center virtualization and platform team has been created to compete with Linux and Unix, and this also is seen by some as 'too little, too late'.

At any rate, developer segment marketing has taken ownership of technical computing created in May under general manager Bill Hilf to win open source software developers to Windows-Server based HPC and hopefully block them from going to the Linux platform.

"We are moving the Technical Computing group to recognize that the key battle for Technical Computing is winning developers to our platform," Microsoft says.

For the past year now, Microsoft has tried to attract PHP developers to Azure and Windows Server by making PHP, Azure and Windows work better together as a unified programming platform.

Source: Microsoft.

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