Windows Azure celebrates its first birthday with 31,000 customers

It may seem like a long time ago, but Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform has only just hit its one-year birthday, and the company decided to use the big day to announce that it now has just over 31,000 customers.

The user base seems much smaller than what the company hoped to have gained by now especially compared to its competitors, but it is a decent enough increase over the 20,000 that had originally signed up during Windows Azure’s first six-month period. What is significant though is that much larger companies are now using the Azure cloud platform, including Xerox, T-Mobile and Travelocity, according to Switched.com.

This area of business is very competitive, with a number of other companies such as Google, Amazon and IBM battling it out for customers. Microsoft also stated that the platform not only now has 31,000 customers, but that it also hosts around 5,000 applications, a much smaller amount when compared to the big guns like Google, who claim to have around 150,000 applications on their platform.

Microsoft recently updated the Windows Azure UI in an attempt to make it far more intuitive; this came about after much criticism early on from companies trying to use it. Despite this many companies have found the platform to be very fast to develop on according to an article on Seattle Times.

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Maybe they would have more customers if they didn't have silly regional locks. I live in eastern Europe and was in the original beta but ever since it went public I haven't been able to sign up due to my region.

Well, Microsoft's loss, Amazon's win in my case.

Kristjan Rang said,
Maybe they would have more customers if they didn't have silly regional locks. I live in eastern Europe and was in the original beta but ever since it went public I haven't been able to sign up due to my region.

Well, Microsoft's loss, Amazon's win in my case.

Microsoft is only thinking to US market. No full zune services (and no devices), no bing ect... If they want to fail, they really know how to do it...

fenderMarky said,

Microsoft is only thinking to US market. No full zune services (and no devices), no bing ect... If they want to fail, they really know how to do it...

Yea, I wish I had a company that fails the way MS does...

bob_c_b said,

Yea, I wish I had a company that fails the way MS does...


it is a bad thing however that MS is slacking off on the markets out of the US. They seem to've forgotten that Google for example won the first big battle on the Search Engine market was in Europe, not the US.

Shadowzz said,

it is a bad thing however that MS is slacking off on the markets out of the US. They seem to've forgotten that Google for example won the first big battle on the Search Engine market was in Europe, not the US.

That's quite a revisionist view of history, but okay.

greenwizard88 said,
I'm still confused as to what it is...

It's a cloud platform, just think windows on the cloud more or less, it can hosts apps, services etc etc, really up to what the dev wants to do and or whatever the limits of the current APIs are.

GP007 said,

It's a cloud platform, just think windows on the cloud more or less, it can hosts apps, services etc etc, really up to what the dev wants to do and or whatever the limits of the current APIs are.


But its not an operating system so what the hell is it doing using Windows brand?

greenwizard88 said,
I'm still confused as to what it is...

Azure is a platform for companies to host their own applications on Microsoft's servers. It's not really a consumer-facing service.

GrandTheftAuto said,

But its not an operating system so what the hell is it doing using Windows brand?

Sure it is. You actually receive a Windows VM. You can even remote control it.

GrandTheftAuto said,

But its not an operating system so what the hell is it doing using Windows brand?

It sorta is, you code for it like you would for Windows on the desktop/server. There's no change in apps other than they're hosted up on the cloud and you can then push those out to users often with MS's one-click tech which is like a live install iirc, meaning upgrades to apps can happen without users even noticing, at the most you'd just get a prompt to click on the new version and it runs.

MS's Office Web Apps I think run on Azure, as does Bing itself iirc.

Azure has come a long way. I see it continuing to grow alongisde Windows Phone development. I'm sure management will improve, including the avilability of stats, in the future. That's been a big sticking point.