I’ve been blogging a lot lately about cloud computing and the role developers will play in their ability to make these emerging platforms more consumable.
So when I saw that Ubuntu announced this week that cloud computing will be a cornerstone of its next release in October, it caught my attention. Ubuntu makes a compelling entry into the cloud computing space, mostly because of its open source roots. The company has an army of developers and more than 10 million users, plus strong support for Amazon, its EC2 platform and other APIs, along with strong support across a myriad of other platforms.
Microsoft, on the other hand, simply needs more developers working on Azure. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a robust product, allowing developers to deep-dive into the application to build custom applications as opposed to just extensions to an existing CRM application, ala Salesforce.
And being Microsoft, you know there’s going to be strong demand, but outside of the Microsoft universe, to whom? Obviously they’re going to have a strong following of .Net developers, but Amazon has laid the foundation for cloud computing with its mostly open system profiles. Microsoft’s single-vendor platform is going to be difficult to get people to switch to their cloud offerings. Simply put, Azure won’t be interesting to non-Microsoft developers for a long time.
And those are the developers that Microsoft is going to need in order for Azure to be the success that it promises to be.