Microsoft readies its Azure push

Software giant Microsoft has been trying to work out a way to make its Azure cloud plans more acceptable to the known  world.

Redmond.mag  claims that Microsoft has been quietly working behind the scenes to come up with a Cloud platform that can knock the socks off IBM, Amazon and Google.

The difficulty for hacks covering Vole’s cloud plans is that it is not actually telling any one anything  and there is no publishable roadmap.

But it turns out that Microsoft has been sticking to a cunning plan that it drew up in 2007. Then Microsoft wanted to recreate Windows so that Redmond could run peoples’ applications and store their data across multiple Windows Server machines located in Microsoft’s own data centres.

But to do that, Microsoft had to walk away from Microsoft System Center and .NET-centric worlds. At the time, none of us thought that Vole was that willing to kill off these golden geese, nor did we think it would hack off the developers who supported them.

However, since 2007, we have seen that happen,  but we have not seen a large number of people sign up for Windows Azure.

Redmond.mag claims that some of the big Azure wins that Microsoft trumpeted ended up trying Windows Azure for one project and then quietly slinking away from it. Microsoft knows that it needs to make some improvements if its cloud strategy is going to pay off.

And it looks like that started last year. Quietly, Microsoft started making a few customer- and partner-requested tweaks to Windows Azure pricing. Then it started to provide support for non-Microsoft development tools and frameworks for Windows Azure.

Then the .NET Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie moved to work on the Windows Azure application platform.

Now it looks like Microsoft will make some big changes to Azure in March. Punters will be able to test Vole’s persistent virtual machine that will allow users to run Windows Server, Linux, SharePoint and SQL Server on Windows Azure.

This is following in Amazon’s footsteps and adding more infrastructure as a Service components to a platform that Microsoft has been touting as pure PaaS.

We should also see support for developing Windows Azure apps on Macs and Linux systems.