Mi­crosoft to of­fer lo­cal ver­sion of Azure cloud

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Mi­crosoft Corp yes­ter­day un­veiled a new ser­vice that al­lows cus­tomers to use its cloud tech­nol­ogy on their own servers, part of the com­pany’s ef­forts to re­fo­cus its prod­uct line to com­pete more ef­fec­tively with ri­vals Ama­zon.com Inc and Google. “One of the key dif­fer­en­ti­a­tions we have with Azure ver­sus our two big­gest com­peti­tors in the cloud plat­form space is our abil­ity to sup­port true hy­brid so­lu­tions,” Jud­son Althoff, Mi­crosoft’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of world­wide com­mer­cial busi­ness, told Reuters.

Mi­crosoft is hop­ing to carve a niche among cus­tomers who can­not or do not want to have to move all their com­put­ing op­er­a­tions to the mas­sive shared data cen­ters that are col­lec­tively known as the cloud. Azure Stack could serve com­pa­nies in highly reg­u­lated in­dus­tries or in parts of the world where us­ing the cloud is not yet fea­si­ble, Althoff said.

“We’ve seen a lot of pent-up de­mand from end-user cus­tomers as well as third-party providers who are anx­ious to de­ploy this solution,” said Gart­ner an­a­lyst Ed An­der­son. “I an­tic­i­pate that this of­fer­ing will pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant boost to Mi­crosoft’s over­all cloud busi­ness.” Dell EMC, Len­ovo Group Ltd and Hewlett Packard En­ter­prise Co will pro­vide servers and equip­ment needed to run the ser­vice. Dell EMC, Len­ovo and HPE will ship the first sys­tems to cus­tomers in Septem­ber. Mi­crosoft also an­nounced Mi­crosoft 365, a ser­vice that al­lows cus­tomers to pur­chase the Of­fice 365 pro­duc­tiv­ity suite, Win­dows 10 and other ser­vices in one bun­dle. The prod­uct an­nounce­ments, part of the com­pany’s In­spire cus­tomer con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, come just days af­ter the lay­off of thou­sands of sales reps. Mi­crosoft is re­or­ga­niz­ing to sim­plify its sales and mar­ket­ing ef­forts and put more em­pha­sis on part­ner­ships with ser­vices com­pa­nies such as KPMG. — Reuters

BELLE­VUE: This file photo taken on Novem­ber 30, 2016 shows the Mi­crosoft logo at the Mi­crosoft An­nual Share­hold­ers Meet­ing. — AFP

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