Microsoft's Cloud Chief on Windows Azure, Tools and More

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-02-05 Print this article Print

So I definitely think the PaaS vision was the right long-term vision and at the same time I think that Infrastructure as a Service is probably something on Azure that we wish we'd done earlier. I think also there's a shift that's happening that where cloud is relevant is becoming increasingly not just large ISVs and large Internet services, but increasingly every company is taking advantage of it.

So I think the opportunity for us on Azure at Microsoft is the majority of our base that's currently using cloud is still relatively small. I think the cloud will continue to democratize and get infinitely bigger as we move from the early stage companies adopting it to the mid and later stages. And I think it's going to be a big opportunity for everyone.

How does all this added together set you up to compete with AWS?

I think we're in a good place right now. The team is executing in Agile. We did a bunch of mobile service announcements. It's kind of nice because it is kind of rapid and it has the team on its toes. And the quality bar goes up. The biggest thing for us is with the things like BizTalk and Active Directory, it shows us getting very pointy with a particular audience. We're getting to a point where we have these really differentiated services. Active Directory is in 93 percent of all Fortune 1000 companies and you can now easily use it in the cloud and integrate your security. That's a hugely differentiated capability. Likewise, the integration capabilities that we have is something that Amazon has not gone after, it's not something that Google I think will ever go after.

And now that we can tell a story that is not just around productivity–which we did with the Web and mobile releases, but also we can start to point to these pointed services that are hugely differentiated in the enterprise, I think we're starting to be in a different league than we were even six months ago where people can look and say no one has that but you.

For instance, we had Aaron [Levie] from Box onstage at Build. He has not always been complimentary to Microsoft, but the fact that we now have an opportunity and a service that's a win-win for both of us is a big deal.

You'll see us continue to refine the service and continue to build some of these unique assets, and that will help us to differentiate ourselves from the pack more.

So are you having fun? Are you in that place where you want to be?

I think so, yeah! Different people get motivated by different things. I'm kind of like the Marine that wants to be the first off the boat onto the beach. I like the impossible odds and the fast cadence and having to bring your "A" game to win. So I can say I'm off the boat and at least on the beach now. And it's fun. We've still got a long ways to go.


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