Why applications are still Microsoft’s biggest asset in the cloud


Microsoft is putting on the cloud computing full-court press this week, complete with appearances by CEO Satya Nadella on CNBC and at a press event in San Francisco on Monday. There’s a lot of talk about the scale of its cloud platform, and about its ability to serve hyperscale, enterprise and hybrid cloud environments. But scale alone, or even the biggest and best virtual servers around, won’t make or break Microsoft in the cloud: applications will.

It’s not that scale isn’t important, but it’s just a game that Microsoft has to prove it can play. When Nadella and cloud boss Scott Guthrie talk about Microsoft’s 19 data center regions, $4.5 billion in annual infrastructure spending and millions of servers under management (with current capacity to house about 10 million, if need be), they’re not talking about anything [company]Google[/company] or [company]Amazon Web Services[/company] can’t do or aren’t already doing. They’re really saying…

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