Microsoft is aiming to make its Azure cloud platform a true competitor to what Google and Amazon are offering. One of the first steps into making this a possibility is taking the Windows out of Azure, and calling it Microsoft Azure.
This could be seen as a strategic move from Microsoft to remove the perception that Azure is a Windows exclusive experience. The software giant has already shown its willingness to support third party platforms such as Android and iOS with Azure's mobile development tools.
It's quite surprising that Microsoft chose to make this announcement today since CEO, Satya Nadella, is gearing up to talk about the cloud, and Office for iOS on Thursday. Furthermore, the idea behind this move could be linked to Google's Platform Live event that is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 25.
Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure is not just marketing
Some might view this little stunt Microsoft pulled as a mere repackaging and marketing to get more customers, but it is more than that. Bear in mind that Windows is a tainted name since Windows 8 and Windows Phone came along. Furthermore, having the name Windows associated with Azure gives the impression that Microsoft's cloud platform is only for Windows related systems.
You see, Windows irrelevance on the web and in the cloud has fallen on hard times, and if Microsoft wants to succeed, the company must recognize third party platforms.
At the moment, Microsoft is seeking a leading role where the cloud computing market is concerned, and it knows it won't be easy, not with the availability of well-known cloud services from both Amazon and Google.
It is clear that new Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has a hand in the rebranding of the company's cloud platform. Nadella clearly views cloud and mobile as the future of Microsoft, so it makes perfect sense for the software giant to travel this route.
Whether or not Microsoft Azure will compete effectively is up to what Amazon and Google plans to offer, and ultimately how Microsoft plans to respond.