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Windows Azure to Overtake Amazon as Cloud Computing Leader

My attention was brought to a greenbutton.com (http://www.greenbutton.com/blog/index.php/2013/10/30/why-windows-azure/) today when it was tweeted by @WindowsAzure (https://twitter.com/WindowsAzure/status/400669888823697408) in which the author, Dave Fellows speaks of how they believe Windows Azure is going to overtake Amazon as the leader in cloud computing within two to three years.

My personal feeling is that I agree with what Dave is saying. Windows Azure has been gaining steam and momentum significantly over the last year as Microsoft has increased the amount of work and effort it’s putting into virtualisation and cloud for the on premise private, mash-up hybrid and all out public cloud software architectures.

Microsoft are traditionally late to a party but when they arrive, they do it well and they do it big. As I’ve made public knowledge¬†recently on my blog here, I worked on a Windows Azure project recently to deliver my companies public website on the Platform as a Service public cloud infrastructure using a CMS product called Sitecore. The experience was really good both when dealing with pre-sales to engage with Microsoft and discuss the opportunity of Windows Azure, and also with Premier Support Services who were really good at helping us get to where we needed to be on the couple of occasions we ran into issues. For clarity, we ran into issues because of soft limits imposed on Azure subscriptions to prevent¬†customers from inflicting giant bills on themselves by provisioning lots of service without considering the ramifications, not because of any practical issues such as performance or loss of service.

As the integration with products and services like System Center Data Protection Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and AppController all improve as I’m sure they will beyond the 2012 R2 releases, this story is only going to get better. The Azure VPN feature already allows customers to expand their on premise networks and private clouds into Azure and future services of this nature, allowing customers to adopt public cloud but in a private and secure manner will promote adoption for those customers who aren’t quite ready to take the leap of faith into public-public.

 

Music Syncing and the Cloud in Windows 8

Quite, quite some time ago, I posted here (http://richardjgreen.net/2009/11/26/music-library-masterpiece-part-1/) about all of the work I had put into my music library like naming the files, folders updating ID3v2 tags and applying Folder.jpg and embedded album art to all the tracks.

The updated version of the Windows 8 Music app includes a feature now where if you allow it to scan your music library and match songs to those in the Xbox Music Store then you can get streaming access to those files on any other Windows 8 or Windows RT device linked to your Microsoft ID.

This is a brilliant feature, truly great as it means I can, for example, have my full library at home and my core listening taste available physically in the office for tune-out project work listening, then if I want to listen to something out of the ordinary, Xbox Music will allow me to stream it as it knows I already own it from either physical CD ripped or from another download service like Amazon MP3.

The problem is, I used Amazon as my data source when I updated all my music previously, and it appears that some of the album and track titles, mainly around versions and editions varies between the two which means that not all of my music has been detected and as such isn’t all available in the cloud.

Bummer. Music Masterpiece Mk. II I sense in the works.

As for the feature as a whole, I think it’s missing one thing to complete the picture. The ability to stream music which was matched on your Windows 8 PC to your Windows Phone 8 device and your Xbox. That would complete the holy three screens and the cloud trinity for me.