A group of Microsoft technology experts took to the (digital) clouds today in a vintage Concorde aircraft to offer live responses to Windows Azure questions tweeted to them with the hashtag #CloudPioneers.
— ICS Solutions Ltd (@ICSSolutionsLtd) October 10, 2013
This all happened inside a grounded Concorde G-BBDG at Brooklands Museum in Chatham, Kent – the plane model that had been the first to carry 100 people at 1,350 mph – twice the speed of sound.
The crew, whose mission was to provide useful and practical advice, included the likes of Microsoft Windows Azure cloud specialist Ewan Dalton, and Nuno Godinho, a Windows Azure MVP and director of Aditi Technologies’ European cloud services, as well as Microsoft partners from QA Training, ICS Solutions, and Dot Net Solutions.
— UK TechNet Team (@TechNetUK) October 10, 2013
This was part of a push towards getting UK businesses to be “Cloud Pioneers” – much like the Concorde had been, but perhaps with more longevity (its last commercial flight, after all, was 10 years ago).
In support of this vision, Microsoft also announced today the Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server, a collection of Windows Azure technologies for enterprise and service provider data centers. It is available at no additional cost to Microsoft customers.
Microsoft also introduced today a free, 130 page eBook: Windows Azure for IT Professionals by Mitch Tulloch and the Windows Azure Team. It covers the different elements that make up Windows Azure and reasons for using Azure, before taking a deeper diver into compute, network, data and app services.
Microsoft is also ramping up its efforts with Azure cloud discounts starting in November and new releases of its Windows Server and Systems Center software. In addition, Microsoft promises to soon release free eBooks on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft System Center 2012 R2.
It seems that Microsoft is making a concerted effort to make it easy and welcoming for customers to come on board the Azure cloud. And with the skies darkening with competition, efforts of this sort are essential for Azure to truly reach its desired heights.