real-time news and commentary for investors
Monday, Oct 7
Microsoft unveils fall enterprise/cloud roadmap, offers Azure discounts
- Microsoft (MSFT) Cloud & Enterprise chief Satya Nadella has unveiled the software giant's fall roadmap for the businesses that (before the reorg) made up its Server & Tools unit. Not surprisingly, cloud services are showcased early and often.
- Among the products launching this fall: New versions of Microsoft's Dynamics CRM and supply-chain software; refreshes for the Visual Studio and .NET software development platforms; updates to Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012; a version of Windows Azure meant for government clients; and a service launched in partnership with Equinix (EQIX) that allows users of Equinix's data centers to directly connect to Azure.
- Like peers, Microsoft is giving priority to big data/analytics features. The company promises its SQL Server 2014 database will offer big improvements in transaction processing speed, so as to better compete with in-memory databases from SAP and Oracle. it's also launching an Azure service based on the Hadoop big data framework for integrating cloud data into visualizations.
- Meanwhile, Azure discounts are being provided for enterprise volume license customers, as Microsoft continues squaring off against Amazon,VMware, and others in a cloud infrastructure market seeing intense price competition. Nadella asserts Microsoft's enterprise software lineup gives Azure an edge over rivals in enabling hybrid clouds.
- Server & Tools had an $8.2B FY13 op. profit, +13% Y/Y. That was still well below the $16.2B reported for the Office division (+2%), but close to the $9.5B reported for the Windows division (-18%, hurt by PC weakness and a $900M Surface RT write-down).