There are reports that soon Microsoft will rename rather rebrand “Windows Azure” to “Microsoft Azure”. Microsoft is planning on this as rebranding does make sense because Azure is not all about Windows. As customers can run Linux in virtual machines on the operating system using Azure. Also, users of Azure can run Oracle databases and middleware, use non-Windows-specific development tools, including Java, Ruby, PHP and Python.
The rebranding of Azure does not signify that Microsoft is moving away from Windows. Perhaps it reflects the multiplicity of what is possible on Azure that goes beyond servers in the Windows sense.
Windows Azure, since 2008, was known by its codename “Red Dog,” and by this Microsoft’s meant to convey that the Windows Azure was a cloud version of Windows Server. (Microsoft combined its Server and Cloud teams into a single unit in late 2009.) This twinning benefits of on-premises and cloud offerings is been at the core of Microsoft’s private/public/hybrid cloud messaging.
When Microsoft eliminated the word “Azure” from its cloud billing portal, in 2012 there was some buzz about rebranding. Then later at that time Microsoft officials had made clear that Microsoft had no plans to move away from the Windows Azure branding.
But in recent times, even though Windows is a key to Microsoft, the company is now emphasizing its not Windows-only. Officials of Microsoft are working to make Microsoft a cross-platform software and services provider. One of the examples of this is Microsoft’s Office on iPad suite, which is a great example of new corporate positioning.
Though there has been no official statement from Microsoft officials, Azure standing slightly askance from the Windows brand is therefore not tossing shade on Microsoft’s premier product, but instead is a reflection of a broader reality.