Satya Nadella's Version of Cloud Services Gets Ever More Competitive

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 22, 2015

Just in case you haven't looked in on the company recently, Microsoft is dramatically reshaping its approach to the cloud as well as Windows fees, subscriptions and licensing. It's all being driven by new CEO Satya Nadella (shown here), who rose to the top position at the Redmond giant following a long stint being in charge of Microsoft's cloud computing arm.

While open source cloud computing platforms are spreading out, and open source productivity applications suites such as LibreOffice are gaining more users, Microsoft has steadily kept its Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS), including Windows, priced at around $10 per user. And now, Microsoft is launching new initiatives focused on its Office 365 cloud service that will purportedly give customers more control over their data and more visibility into the ways it's being accessed.

Nadella knows that he needs to connect Microsoft's big installed base of Windows and Office users to his vision of the company's cloud computing future.  A new post from the Office 365 team confirms that security, privacy and compliance are among ways that the company wants to differentiate its Office and cloud efforts:

"A new capability, Customer Lockbox for Office 365, provides unprecedented customer control over content residing in Office 365, so customers can be assured that their content will not be accessed by Microsoft employees without their explicit approval....In the next few months, we will add...content level encryption for email in Office 365. Implementing this feature will increase the separation of server administration from the data stored in Office 365, resulting in an added layer of security..."

 All of this, of course, addresses issues that some IT administrators have with going with open source alternatives to Microsofts' tools and cloud platform. Many of those administrators cite security as a major concern in the cloud.

At very low prices, many enterprises will opt for Windows and Microsoft's cloud strictly for compatibility reasons. It's becoming more and more clear that we aren't witnessing the old Microsoft anymore, and, in the cloud, open source platforms like OpenStack are going to have to stay as secure and as affordable to implement as what Microsoft is serving up for very low fees.