Microsoft slips Azure in under the radar -

While Microsoft’s Azure software is not hitting the headlines much, it turns out that the software is being snuck in under the radar of many of Vole’s products.

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform.  It was recently expanded with new capabilities.  But what is raising an eyebrow or two is how Microsoft is integrating Azure into so many of its other products.

According to IT World, in some cases Volish punters are hardly realising they’re shifting to the platform.

It is all part of a cunning plan from Vole to get customers onto Azure in a small way so that they will use the service in anger  when it comes time to move to something bigger.

One thing, which Microsoft announced yesterday, was Windows Azure Backup Services. This is a simple offering for backing up Windows Server to the cloud.

But Microsoft is being jolly clever about it.  It does not mention the word cloud in the package.  It lets businesses that are running servers on-premises to set a regular back up to Azure for data on their servers.

But it is the sort of thing that makes a good first step into the public cloud for businesses.  And Microsoft hopes that once its customers have moved past baby steps they will want the full monty.  It is then that Microsoft can step in and point out that they have been using Azure for a while now and know how it works.

This “let’s try to get our foot in the door” approach is required because competition for enterprise cloud customers is tougher than 2,000 year old bacon strips and about as hard for some customers to swallow.

Vole needs to beat Amazon Web Services, and other long-time enterprise vendors like HP and IBM.