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Putting the Microsoft-Amazon Cloud Deathmatch on Hold for Partner Profit

Put the terms Microsoft, Amazon and cloud computing together, and the word "deathmatch" comes to mind.

After all, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is in direct competition with the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. The approaches and capabilities are different, but the intent of the two companies to provide computing infrastructure in the cloud is similar.

Which is why I did a double take when I got an invitation today from the Microsoft Partner Network for the Feb. 28 webinar, "Getting Started with Microsoft Windows on Amazon Web Services." I was a little nervous about allowing my e-mail client to download the content, but it came through OK, and the link went to a legitimate MPN events page.


The webinar is presented by AWS in partnership with Microsoft U.S. Partner Hosting & Cloud Services. It's intended for channel partners and promises to show MSPs, ISVs and VARs how to "take advantage of your existing Microsoft investments and skill set to run Windows Server applications such as Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, and SQL Server" on AWS without incurring additional Microsoft licensing costs.

As is so often the case with all things Microsoft, the hype of platform battles rarely stands up to the more nuanced reality that where there's money to be made in partnering, Microsoft is usually game, no matter how unlikely the bedfellow may be.

I suppose, it's not surprising, as Amazon has been offering Windows hosted servers on AWS for years, clearly with Microsoft's blessing. Both benefit from this latest iteration of coopetition as Microsoft makes sure its software is relevant on the leading cloud platform while Amazon is able to ensure it serves the pent-up demands of its existing and prospective enterprise customer base.

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Posted by Scott Bekker on February 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM