Microsoft Not Willing to Get Left in the Dust Left by Cloud Services Business

Microsoft may be the largest software company on the globe, but that didn’t stop it from being left in the dust by other companies more than once and eWEEK reports that when it comes to cloud services Microsoft is not willing to make the same mistake.

Although Microsoft was initially weary of the cloud, the company is now singing a different tune and trying to move further into the data center. Microsoft had its first booth dedicated solely to business cloud services at the SaaSCon 2010, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center April 6 and 7. Microsoft is positioning Exchange Online (email), SharePoint Online (collaboration), Dynamics CRM Online (business apps), SQL Azure (structured storage) and AD/Live ID (Active Directory assess) as its lead services for business. All of these services are designed to run on Windows Server 2008 in the data center and sync up with the corresponding on-premises applications.

The services are designed to work hand-in-hand with standard Microsoft client software (including Windows 7, Windows Phone, Office and Office Mobile), thus ensuring that the overarching strategy is set and users will have to report on its cohesiveness over time. Microsoft is also offering its own data centers and its own version of Infrastructure-as-a-Service for hosting client enterprises apps and services. Microsoft is using Azure—a full online stack comprised of Windows 7, the SQL database and additional Web services—as a Platform-as-a-Service for developers.

Featuring Business Productivity Online Suite, Exchange Hosted Services, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and MS Office Web Apps, Microsoft Online Services are up and running. In mid-March Microsoft launched a cloud backup service on the consumer side called SkyDrive, which is an online storage repository for files which users can access from anywhere via the Web. SkyDrive may be a very popular service, as it offers a neat (in both senses of the word) 25GB of online space for free (which is more than the 2GB offered as a motivator by other services).

SkyDrive simply requires a Windows Live account (also free) and shows that Microsoft really is taking the plunge. For more information on Microsoft’s Cloud offerings, please visit

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