Microsoft's TechEd North America 2013 kicked off this week in New Orleans, where Server and Tools Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson seized the opportunity to showcase a Microsoft customer's product, by entering his keynote in a sleek new Aston Martin. Anderson unveiled a broad set of new capabilities across the full suite of Microsoft Cloud OS products and technologies. The conference conversation can be followed on Twitter hashtag #msTechEd.
On the cloud front Microsoft announced that Windows Azure now offers per-minute billing for virtual machines, a move that can improve cloud economics by allowing customers to manage costs on a more granular level than Amazon Web Services, which charges by the hour. Google also offers by-the-minute pricing for its Google Compute Engine, while ProfitBricks and CloudSigma have also offered pricing in segments smaller than an hour.
To help developers along the company announced that the new Windows Azure MSDN benefit offers up to $150 per month in credits to use on any Azure service of their hoice for development and testing. The billing approach and economic explanation of benefits was outlined in a company blog post on Windows Azure.
Satya Nadella, President of the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft elaborates on how Microsoft is leading the Cloud Era in his blog post. With half of the Fortune 500 using Windows Azure and over a thousand new customers signing up every day, Nadella feels that the company is taking market share from enterprise incumbents. Microsoft's unique offering is that its cloud infrastructure is available to customers and partners to build and operate their own clouds. He states that Microsoft is the first multinational company to bring public cloud services to China.
Anderson and other Microsoft (MSFT) executives showcased how new offerings across client, datacenter infrastructure, public cloud and application development help deliver a comprehensive enterprise platform. Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin was one of the featured customers, as an example of using the full range of Microsoft products and cloud platforms for IT success.
“Our staff’s sole purpose is to provide advanced technology that enables Aston Martin to build the most beautiful, iconic sports cars in the world,” said Daniel Roach-Rooke, IT infrastructure manager, Aston Martin. “From corporate desktops and software development to private and public cloud, Microsoft is our IT vendor of choice.”
Microsoft introduced upcoming releases of its key enterprise IT solutions for hybrid cloud: Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014. Available in preview later this month, the products break down boundaries between customer datacenters, service provider datacenters and Windows Azure. Microsoft is hoping for a faster pace of development and release to market, with its cloud-first strategy. The hybrid cloud advantage looks to incorporate Microsoft’s experience running large-scale cloud services, connect to Windows Azure and work together to provide a consistent platform.
A Windows 8.1 update was also announced at the TechEd conference, where new networking features aim to improve mobile productivity. Enhancements include system-on-a-chip (SoC)-integrated mobile broadband, native Miracast wireless display and near field communication (NFC)-based pairing with enterprise printers. Security is also enhanced in the new update to address device proliferation and to protect corporate data and applications with fingerprint-based biometrics, multifactor authentication on tablets and remote business data removal to securely wipe company data from a device.
Microsoft announced an agreement to acquire InCycle Software's InRelease Business Unit. InRelease is a leading release management solution for Microsoft .NET and Windows Server applications. This acquisition will extend Microsoft’s offerings in the application lifecycle management and DevOps market. The acquisition of the continuous deployment solution, InRelease, will add Release Management capabilities to Microsoft’s ALM and DevOps solutions, helping customers deliver applications faster, better and more efficiently.
“DevOps is an increasingly important part of ALM and a growing area of interest to chief information officers as businesses are pressured to develop and deploy quality applications at an increasingly faster pace,” said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president, Developer Division for Microsoft. “The InRelease continuous delivery solution will automate the development-to-production release process from Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, helping enable faster and simpler delivery of applications.”