Nobody can “out-Windows” Microsoft

Microsoft LogoPeople have a love/hate relationship with Microsoft Windows — either you love it or you don’t. Like many things, objective truth probably lives somewhere between the two emotional poles. But if your enterprise is fully bought into Microsoft technologies, you probably want to go with the “real thing” whenever possible. ZDnet writes:

Amazon announced on November 20 that it has added Windows Server 2012 as an option for customers who want to host Windows on Amazon Web Services. Amazon already offered support for Windows Server 2003 R2, 2008 and 2008 R2 on AWS.

In late October, Microsoft announced availability of Windows Server 2012 and .Net 4.5 on Azure (in Web and worker roles). Microsoft also announced in October .Net 4.5 support for Azure Web Sites.

This seems like a battle that AWS is bound to lose. Because Windows is a commercial product and requires a license to run it, AWS is always going to be at the mercy of Microsoft for pricing and functionality. Whenever it suits Microsoft’s strategic designs, the company can always:

  • Undercut AWS on price for cloud-based Windows
  • Delay the availability of a new Windows component on AWS
  • Add additional functionality that is highly integrated into Azure
  • And so on…

The upshot to this is that unless Microsoft really starts to gouge enterprises on price, the Azure cloud is likely to be the best place for Microsoft-centric shops to deploy their code. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.

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