Microsoft's 'open' cloud addition doesn't mean what you think

'Open' to apps and content moving to Azure, not back again

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To those of us who have watched it like a kind of sleazy tennis match for the last few years, the back-and-forth marketing war between Microsoft and VMware has been relatively entertaining.

The volleys have gotten so well synchronized it's rare to have one announce something significant without the other announcing something similar on the same day or, preferably, one day earlier.

Microsoft was a little late this time, announcing its latest take on open-source cloud computing late on the same day VMware announced it would ship an open-source cloud-infrastructure platform and support the development community that went with it.

Microsoft's answer is a little less ambitious, too.

Rather than offering the base code for its Azure PaaS cloud as an open-source standalone offering, it offered more granular contracts and pricing for Azure in an effort to draw in open-source developers who might otherwise run their apps on Amazon's EC2 or Google.

Its "open" focus was on making it easier for content partners to get stuff up on Azure, not make the code or platform itself more open.

It did issue a new version of the Azure SDK that makes it easier to port apps through IIS to Azure; it also issued an early beta for a Traffic Manager that acts as a performance manager for apps running on Azure.

And it promoted Orchard 1.1, the open-source content management system from the OuterCurve Foundation, whose code works with Azure's Microsoft-centric cloud because Microsoft helped found and promote it.

To those of us who have watched it like a kind of sleazy tennis match for the last few years, the back-and-forth marketing war between Microsoft and VMware has been relatively entertaining.

The volleys have gotten so well synchronized it's rare to have one announce something significant without the other announcing something similar on the same day or, preferably, one day earlier.

Microsoft was a little late this time, announcing its latest take on open-source cloud computing late on the same day VMware announced it would ship an open-source cloud-infrastructure platform and support the development community that went with it.

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