Microsoft announced a variety of developments to its cloud offerings on Monday, including product releases and discounts to the Azure cloud platform. Microsoft Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 will be unveiled Oct. 18, and the company will provide details on the price cuts to Azure at the beginning of November.
The announcement was made on the Microsoft website, and its details were explained in a blog post by cloud and enterprise executive VP Satya Nadella.
In addition to its infrastructure updates, developer tools Visual Studio 2013 and .NET 4.5.1 will also be available next week as will BYOD solution Microsoft Intune. In addition, Microsoft will offer a second preview of its SQL Server 2014. Also among the announcements is Windows Azure US Government Cloud, which leverages its status as the first public cloud to be granted FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authority to Operate to create a specifically targeted enterprise offering.
The moves collectively are meant to position Microsoft to lead “the enterprise cloud era.”
“The enterprise move to the cloud is indeed going to be huge – we’re talking about a potential IT market of more than 2 trillion dollars – and that move is just getting started,” said Nadella in the blog post. “We are delivering best-in-class first party software-as-a-service applications…We are delivering a global public cloud platform in Windows Azure – the only public cloud with fully supported infrastructure and platform services…[and] hybrid solutions that help enterprises build their own clouds with consistency, enable them to move without friction across clouds, and let them use the public cloud in conjunction with their own clouds.”
The discounts on Azure will be offered to Enterprise Agreement customers regardless of upfront commitment, and without overuse penalties.
Microsoft has been busy building the Azure brand and its portfolio of cloud solutions. Azure was recently upgraded to include multi-factor authentication, as well as VPN through a partnership with AT&T. It also increased its level of automation with an update in August, and targeted scientists and non-profits in September.