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Microsoft takes another whack at Amazon’s EC2

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. How many times have you heard this growing up? It is the mantra of many parents trying to teach their children the value of perseverance. It is also the mantra of corporate tech giants. Take the case of Google. It fell flat on its face and incurred the wrath of privacy regulators with the disastrous launch of Google Buzz. Google Buzz is now mothballed but it has been replaced by the far more successful Google Plus. Another example of a corporate giant taking a beating the first time around only to snap back and try again is Microsoft’s attempts at the Infrastructure As a Service/cloud computing space.

Microsoft and Amazon struggles in the Cloud

Microsoft’s well-aware of Amazon’s cloud computing head start with its Amazon Web Services business and its cloud-based leased infrastructure service, Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Rumor is that the software behemoth is a few weeks away from entering this lucrative service space. As we have reported earlier in our guide to cloud computing services, cloud computing offers enterprises a far more affordable and responsive solution that helps them meet their objectives. While not perfect, cloud computing services’ benefits outweigh its costs to many enterprises. There are many types of cloud services, Microsoft’s rumored service is focused on the “infrastructure as a service” cloud segment. This service lets clients access virtual servers. Word on the street is that Microsoft will drop the news regarding this new service on June 7 at a San Francisco event. One other interesting component of the rumored service is that it will offer Linux as well as Windows virtual servers. Interesting.

I know you will say, “wait, what? Isn’t Microsoft already offering Azure, its cloud computing service?” You are right on the money Microsoft has been offering raw virtual servers for close to a year and a half now. However, Azure is a strictly Windows server-only affair. So with this pending “new” service, the big news is the inclusion of Linux to the mix.

There are many ways to interpret this. Some Windows haters would consider it a surrender by Microsoft to the hard reality that Linux is not going anywhere soon and a whole generation of developers has grown up in a GNU and open source environment. Another way to look at this development is that Microsoft is just looking to expand its market by appealing to developers who cut their teeth on open source resources. Either way, this is a positive sign that Microsoft is finally shedding some of its reputation as the world’s biggest hater of open source. Whether this “new service” is branded as an extension of Azure or a brand new distinct service, we’ll know soon enough.