What could the future look like for Microsoft Cloud?

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What could the future look like for Microsoft Cloud?

Digital Transformation: The cloud arm at Microsoft will grow, more integrated than ever and more vertically concentrated in 2022. Here are our predictions for Redmond’s fastest growing business.

Unsurprisingly, 2021 has been an important year for Microsoft’s cloud computing services. The year 2022 is set to be even bigger, as Microsoft, the second-largest public cloud provider for businesses, is on track to build 50 to 100 new data centers per year.

But what exactly is “Microsoft Cloud”? It is not a single unit of inventory management or service that customers can purchase. It is not synonymous with Azure either. It’s much more complicated and more and more intertwined than that.

Last fall, Microsoft quietly renamed the range of services from “commercial cloud” to “Microsoft Cloud”. This term was already used by many people within the company, but since Microsoft began fiscal 2022, it has become part of official terminology. Microsoft Cloud includes Microsoft 365 / Office 365, Azure and the various Azure services, Dynamics 365, several LinkedIn business services, cloud database and analytics services, Enterprise Mobility + Security, various “online” versions. ‘Exchange Server or even SharePoint Server.
In October, Microsoft reported that Microsoft Cloud generated $ 20.7 billion in revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 22, which means it’s on an annual pace of around $ 80 billion. So while it is not possible to buy – or subscribe to – Microsoft Cloud, Microsoft’s sales and partners aim to sell users as many items of the Microsoft Cloud as possible.

The rise of industrial and vertical clouds

First of all, Microsoft Cloud should be given a new lease of life with Nuance, since Microsoft has started the process to acquire this company whose activity is largely focused on health. Its voice recognition technology helps streamline the interaction process between doctor and patient. Microsoft says Nuance’s technology will work well for many verticals outside of healthcare.

Speaking of verticals, expect Microsoft to multiply the selling points for its vertical / industrial clouds. These industrial clouds are bundles of Microsoft 365 / Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365 and various application programming models and interfaces tailor-made for vertical markets such as healthcare, retail, finance, manufacturing, non-profit organizations, etc.

Microsoft watchers who have been interested in it for some time may remember Microsoft’s old “Better Together” campaigns, where Microsoft tried to convince customers that they would get the best computing experience if they used a Microsoft-centric, “better together” stack of products. That’s basically what managers are trying to achieve with vertical clouds. Industry-specific bundles also help increase sales of products like Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, which may not be the most important in the minds of customers when they sign license agreements.

The MetaOS strategy

On the Azure front, Microsoft will also work to convince customers that its work in booming areas such as Azure Quantum, Azure for Operators, and Azure Space (for those who use satellite imagery and services) are all related and mutually beneficial. A few months ago, Microsoft reorganized (once again) its Cloud + AI business unit and created a unique new “Strategic Missions and Technologies” team that is supposed to use the “learnings” from each of these activities to develop digital solutions in others.

2022 could also be the year we finally start to see Microsoft’s MetaOS strategy manifested in new “modern work” products and services. Sources said a year ago that Microsoft was working to bring together Microsoft Graph, Microsoft Search and Fluid Framework – coupled with building blocks that have become essential in its Office suites like Whiteboard, Planner, Lists, ToDo – to create a platform. “MetaOS” for work and play. Note that MetaOS has nothing to do with the metaverse, in case you were wondering, but has everything to do with Teams, Outlook and the rest of Office.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will undoubtedly be a key element and it is often mentioned in Microsoft’s plans and MetaOS platform, as it will also be the case for Azure. Microsoft is increasingly pushing its vision for AI to scale. At Microsoft, AI at scale is supposed to give customers access to large-scale AI models, cognitive services, and supercomputing resources, all in the form of Azure services.

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Source: zdnet.com