Microsoft must be in a mood to rename things this month. First, the company re-branded its small and medium business advertising site and eliminated Windows Live branding. Now it’s moved on to Azure. Will any of these changes have a positive impact on revenue or just result in confused customers?
Rebranding Azure for Billing Reports
Microsoft has sent a message to Windows Azure users that it is rebranding its cloud services. “Azure” will no longer appear on the billing site and many of the cloud offerings will get slightly modified names. For example, SQL Azure is becoming SQL Database and Azure Compute will now be Cloud Services. Although the change is imminent, it’s unclear if the rebranding will be isolated to billing and usage records or if will apply to the brand as a whole.
Microsoft hasn’t released an official statement explaining its rebranding actions. However, the move may be designed to blur the distinction between on premises and cloud-based solutions. The company has long been committed to having both a premises and cloud versions of its products. In 2009, Microsoft combined the Windows Server and Azure teams.
Microsoft doesn’t want customers to worry about moving between locally deployed and cloud-based solutions. The company wants to create an ecosystem where customers can mix deployment options and easily move between environments.
What This Means
The cloud market is continuing to mature and has grown more competitive. Microsoft seems to be positioning itself as a one-stop-shop for business computing. The company has offerings at every level of the cloud stack from infrastructure-as-a-service to software-as-a-service.
However, the company isn’t stopping with the cloud; Microsoft is also supporting every deployment strategy from traditional on premises installs to the public cloud. The approach will likely be attractive to organizations that don’t want to invest time and resources into integrating best of breed solutions from multiple vendors.