[Posted Monday, June 3]
In Satya Nadella’s post from earlier today, he describes Microsoft’s transformation to a “cloud-first” business:
Two years ago we bet our future on the cloud and quietly refocused our 19 billion-dollar software business by completely transforming our products, culture and practices to be cloud-first. We knew the journey would be long and challenging with plenty of doubters. But we forged ahead knowing that the cloud transition would change the face of enterprise computing. […]
To enable this transformation we had to make deep changes to our organizational culture, overhauling how we build and deliver products. Every one of our division’s nearly 10,000 people now think and build for the cloud – first.
The fruits of this labor will be announced during my keynote today.
Technology leaders love talking about the promise of technologies that are just over the horizon, but Microsoft is now in the unique position of doing much better than that. We are now delivering on our vision with a wave of enterprise products built with this cloud-first approach: Windows Server & System Center 2012 R2 and the update to Windows Intune bring cloud-inspired innovation to the enterprise, and enable hybrid scenarios that cannot be duplicated anywhere in the industry.
With this new wave, our partners and customers can do four key things:
- Build a world-class datacenter without barriers, boundaries, or limitations.
- Use a Cloud OS to innovate faster and better than ever before.
- Embrace and control the countless ways users circumvent IT, but still enable productivity.
- Get serious about the cloud with a partner who takes the cloud seriously.
These developments shatter the obstacles which once stood in the way of turning traditional datacenters into modern datacenters, and which inhibited the natural progression to hybrid clouds. These hybrid scenarios are especially exciting – and Microsoft’s comprehensive support for them sets us apart from each and every other competitor in the tech industry.
We deliver that with a Cloud OS approach based on the massively scalable power of Windows Server & System Center which already power thousands of public and private clouds all over the world, the cloud-based management of Windows Intune and the on-premise management of System Center Configuration Manager. When combined, these solutions provide the unified environment that organizations of various size and shape can use to manage each of their corporate-joined devices, as well as the apps they have running across any of their clouds and servers.
There are a lot of companies around the world who have adopted a pragmatic “wait and see” mindset regarding their own move to the cloud. This kind of careful consideration and planning is important, but now is the time to take action. In a sense, the time when the IT industry was a spectator-friendly field has passed. Now that the “wait and see” era has drawn to a close, companies need to make a decision about what cloud model and cloud vendor is best for them.
When you do make this decision, I recommend you keep a few variables in mind: Look for a cloud partner that brings you simplicity and delivers consistency across clouds. This will ensure that you don’t get locked in and that you can maintain VM mobility. Also, insist on a concrete solution that ties together devices, apps, data, and infrastructure. This cloud consistency and concrete approach will provide what you need to enable and support a modern datacenter.
On a daily basis I meet with my engineering teams to ensure that every decision we make and every line of code we write is delivering that simple, unified experience – an experience that guarantees you’ll never have to piece your datacenter together with different platforms and providers. Our goal is the delivery of cohesion, interoperability, and seamless operation. With these new features and capabilities, I truly believe we have met and exceeded this goal – and I hope you do, too.
You can find out more about today’s announcements here, and to help even more customers get started with the cloud, Microsoft is now giving more than half a million MSDN subscribers free, year-round access to 3 new development servers to develop and test new app on Windows Azure.
This is an exciting and transformational time, and I am looking forward to charging into a bigger and better IT future with you.