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Microsoft And Amazon's Latest Cloud Moves Show How Different Their Visions Are

This Seeking Alpha Eye on Tech column looks at Microsoft and Amazon’s latest cloud service announcements.

Microsoft’s new Azure Container Service adds to the company’s efforts to grow hybrid cloud usage. New AWS offerings continue Amazon’s drive to get as much as possible moved to AWS.

Microsoft’s strategy will win over enterprises not willing to move everything to a public cloud. But the long-term payoff for Amazon’s strategy appears bigger.

While a lot of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) rhetoric has changed during Satya Nadella's time as CEO (just ask Linux developers), one message remains the same from Steve Ballmer's time: The company argues a hybrid cloud platform - one in which companies are able to run cloud workloads both on their own infrastructures and that of a public cloud service provider, as well as move workloads between the environments - is superior to a platform that only offers as a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) or the Google Cloud Platform (GOOG, GOOGL).

Microsoft has gone to great lengths to talk up Azure's hybrid cloud support, and has also integrated its server OS (Windows Server), systems management software platform (System Center), and server virtualization software (Hyper-V) with Azure. The company has even gone as far as to launch the Cloud Platform System ("CPS"), an integrated server/storage/networking system (sold by OEM partners) that lets companies quickly start running cloud workloads within their own data centers.

Microsoft making its hybrid cloud sales pitch.

In a recent interview, Nadella elaborated on the reasoning behind Microsoft's hybrid cloud strategy. It's not just about appeasing companies unable or unwilling to move some workloads to a public due to privacy and security fears, but a belief that it's more effective to keep some workloads close to end-users.

"[T]here's going to be an edge to the cloud. It's not like all compute is going to be only in the cloud and there is no edge compute. It's not even just the device. It's not that I have a phone and that's the only edge device. That's just so narrow a view of the richness of compute in our lives.

"This...


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