In a bid to encourage developers to build hybrid cloud applications, Microsoft is offering up to $150 per month of Azure services to people running Visual Studio.
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The company said the offer would enable MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscribers to run MSDN products in the cloud at no additional cost.
Microsoft also unveiled its hybrid cloud operating system, Windows Server 2012 R2 along with System Center 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014. Users will be able to download previews of these products later this month.
Microsoft claimed the products break down boundaries between customer datacentres, service provider datacentres and Windows Azure.
“Enterprises can make IT services and applications available across clouds and scale them up or down according to business needs,” the company said in a statement.
Windows Server 2012 R2 improves support for Linux environments and software-defined networking, data storage and recovery, and SQL Server 2014 offers in-memory transaction processing.
Luxury car maker Aston Martin is one of the organisations standardising on Microsoft’s cloud operating system strategy.
Simon Callow, head of IT at Aston Martin, said the relationship has allowed the IT department to become an advisor to the business: ”We can now offer a service to the organisation, to help it innovate.”
David Chappell, principal analyst at advisory firm Chappell & Associates, said: “From the numbers I’ve seen, Hyper-V is catching up to VMware, because customers don’t want to keep on paying big amounts to VMware if they can get it for vastly less in Windows. It won’t catch up tomorrow, but Hyper-V will keep on growing.
"In the public cloud space, it’s tougher. Amazon will never let Microsoft get a pricing edge, and the bundling aspects in connection with the operating system are harder to see.”
He said businesses were also opting for Microsoft’s hybrid cloud over Amazon Web Services, due to Microsoft’s maturity in the software market.