It was not that long ago that Microsoft seemed on track to take a more secondary role in the future of enterprise technology. Software sales had been sluggish for some time, and the company seemed unable to keep up with the pace of innovation of its competitors. Well, things change quickly, especially in IT.
To the surprise of some, Microsoft has managed to bounce back in just a few years. It has delivered its finest OS to date, Windows 10, created a new line of successful hardware products like the Surface, and become one of the top contenders in the cloud wars.
We look at the most recent developments and headlines involving the U.S. company.
Global lockdown and cloud momentum
We have recently discussed how the surge in remote work caused by COVID-19 has helped the cloud industry. Microsoft is, of course, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the current situation, finding itself incredibly well-positioned with cloud collaboration tools ranging from Azure to Microsoft Teams.
The Redmond, Virginia company just posted its Q3 2020 earnings, delivering 59% growth for Azure sales and taking its share of the global cloud market up to a 17% — the second place after Amazon. This steady expansion is forcing Microsoft to grow their overall cloud infrastructure.
The company announced this week it will be investing billions of dollars in new data centers in Poland and New Zealand. It also presented an upcoming — and significant – update to the integration of VMware cloud solutions into Azure.
Microsoft is betting big not only on cloud infrastructure and third-party support, but also on cloud security – a major concern for the modern digital enterprise. The company revealed this week a new hacking challenge for Azure Sphere, promising a total of $200K in bounty for those who can break into the system.
Although it’s been almost a year since Microsoft released its last big update for Windows 10, the company announced no major upgrades or changes for the upcoming May 2020 update. Furthermore, and in response to the global pandemic, as of May 1st, the company will limit the scope of its updates to security fixes. For how long? We don’t know exactly. Altogether, this makes analysts and industry experts think that Windows 10 has reached a maturity state, and that it will not change much more.
Ironically, this consolidation comes at the same time that Microsoft is shifting its strategy for Windows 10X. What was going to be the dual-screen variant of the OS is now being redirected towards a more simplified, one-screen version. The move signals Microsoft’s intention to compete more head-on with Google’s Chromebook, which holds a big share of the business and education market.
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