Amazon Now Does Windows

Amazon says its EC2 utility computing service now supports Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. This represents a significant expansion and opens Amazon’s platform to a wider circle of potential users. Here’s a roundup of the news and analysis about today’s announcement:

  • Stacey at GigaOM raises key questions about licensing: “I wonder how the pricing model for using the Windows EC2 will look. Amazon has to license the software from Microsoft, so pricing may be higher. It’s also possible that Amazon could eat the cost, or that it worked out a favorable licensing deal. Since Amazon declined to talk about pricing yet, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
  • “Even as it links up with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft is preparing to muscle onto its turf,” writes Nick Carr, noting that Microsoft will unveil its own “cloud operating system” next month (more on that from The Register).
  • Bob Warfield at Smoothspan thinks the ability to run Windows and Linux is a big deal for Amazon’s cloud offering. “This is classic strategy because they’re making it tremendously easier for customers to pick one cloud computing (platform) and not have to choose … Amazon’s move really creates a more level playing field and is one more reminder to Microsoft it can’t afford to be isolationist forever.”
  • Mary Jo Foley also sees this as a “pre-emptive strike” ahead of Microsoft’s cloud operating system.
  • For Amazon’s perspective, check out blog posts from CTO Werner Vogels and AWS evangelist Jeff Barr.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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