back to article The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

Microsoft has devised a fresh strategy to distract customers from a raft of tempting offers by rivals – it's changing the name of its cloud computing service Windows Azure. Windows Azure will be renamed Microsoft Azure tomorrow, a contact confirmed to us today following a scoop by Mary Jo Foley. The paradigm shift name change …

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  1. Graham Marsden
    Stop

    Attempting to give a damn...

    ... Sorry, unable to give a damn.

    1. Charles Manning

      Reg unit of caring

      giveashits.

      How much do you care about Azure? 0.39 microgiveashits.

    2. Hans 1
      Joke

      Re: Attempting to give a damn...

      segmentation fault

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Attempting to give a damn...

        catastrophic failure

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Attempting to give a damn...

          Guru Meditation (error)?

          1. Chika

            Re: Attempting to give a damn...

            ofla

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Attempting to give a damn...

      Kill Google Cloud?! pffft - Google are quite happily doing that without any help from Microsoft.

      This is targetted only at Amazon. Azure already overtook Amazon on hosting Windows servers, so presumably Linux is next on the list.

      1. Levente Szileszky

        Re: Attempting to give a damn...

        You MSFT-paid AC trolls are so easy to spot...

        "Azure already overtook Amazon on hosting Windows servers,"

        Rrrrriiiiiiightttttt, because SOOOO MANY of us wants to run Windows Server on Amazon as a cloud VM...

        "so presumably Linux is next on the list."

        RRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGHHHHTTTTTTTTTTTTT... HAHAHAHAHAHA^29

        PS: Seriously - do you people REALLY believe this kind of utter crap when you keep bragging like this loudly in Redmond? Must be some sort of kinky group session...

      2. fredesmite

        Re: Attempting to give a damn...

        Why would anyone run a WIndows VM turd on a Linux based cloud operation when is not cost efficient at all? The license fees alone to run a Windows VM is ridiculous .Cloud users generally mirgrate their apps from MS to Linux for that reason.

        If MS did overtake Amazon in that area it is only because of the low volume or morons who would do that.

        Leave Cloud VMs to Linux !

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Attempting to give a damn...

          You might think, but in reality pretty much no one is migrating to Linux. Most large corporates are looking at Azure rather than Amazon unless they are an ecommerce farm.

    4. Richard Jones 1

      Re: Attempting to give a damn...

      Is it really going to be called Microsoft Azure tomorrow? like it says in the text. I guess it will be useful tomorrow then but we still have to worry about today. (Also worry about tomorrow if it ever comes?)

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Attempting to give a damn...

        "Is it really going to be called Microsoft Azure tomorrow?"

        Oh, yes. That leaves room for the next rebranding effort after a year or two. Most likely it will be Microsoft Cloud, or The Microsoft Network. Unless they'll have one of those rare hip'n'dandy moments and name it Ding or Fuzzy.

        /damn, those corporate bingo sessions are making people way too cynical/

    5. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Attempting to give a damn...

      An error has occurred while giving a damn. Please tell Microsoft about this problem. /.../

      You know the drill, don't you.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once upon a time, Microsoft was a world class marketing company. Obviously those days in the 1990's are long gone.

    PS MS was never a software company....just look at their products.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Once upon a time, Microsoft was a world class marketing company. Obviously those days in the 1990's are long gone.

      PS MS was never a software company....just look at their products."

      It still is a marketing company. Their market dept STILL gets sway over what the engineers want to do. How do you think Windows 8 came to be vomited up? MS actually has some pretty decent engineers and if given half a chance I think they would come up with a decent product - ie efficient , little pointless bloat, secure. Sadly those half chances seem to be pretty few and far between though I think Windows 7 might have been a partial exception.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm.. I didn't really like Windows Azure. But Microsoft Azure... it has a ring to it. Lock me in, baby!

    1. Charles Manning

      X-Cloud

      It worked for the Xbox when they put that in front of the naming focus group.

  4. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    Money well spent

    Marketing is far more important than getting the basics right.

    1. vagabondo

      Re: Money well spent

      Reminds me of the fashion for "re-branding" airlines, with all the wasted millions on logos and paint-jobs. Oh! and BT spending more on van resprays, and stationery than engineering.

    2. Mikel

      Re: Money well spent

      Bob, how could any enterprise cloud vendor predict such an unlikely confluence of events as leap day occurring on February 29th? You might as well expect them to anticipate their SSL certificates expiring. This is way out there type unpredictable stuff. Acts of God and whatnot.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Money well spent

        Is Bob STILL banging on about that? He's a one trick pony.

        1. Chika

          Re: Money well spent

          Eh? Thought he was a dog...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey Satya, free tip..

    When I think of "Windows" I think:

    Bloated, overpriced, buggy, insecure...

    When I think of "Microsoft" I think:

    Maker of bloated, overpriced, buggy, insecure...

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Hey Satya, free tip..

      True. My opinion is that they'd do much better sticking with just "Azure".

      Not that sense and marketing go hand in hand with Microsoft - they had "hotmail" as a strong brand, so fucked around with the name repeatedly until now nobody is entirely sure what Microsoft call it, just that it's "not as good as it used to be" (probably through confusion rather than anything else).

      1. electricmonk

        Re: Hey Satya, free tip..

        >>> they had "hotmail" as a strong brand

        Yeah, as in "I wasn't sure if it was genuine, but then I saw it was from a Hotmail address so I deleted it."

      2. Chika

        Re: Hey Satya, free tip..

        True, except that Hotmail wasn't a brand that Microsoft came up with. It was a company that they took over. Then they fucked it over...

      3. Richard Plinston

        Re: Hey Satya, free tip..

        > they had "hotmail" as a strong brand,

        Hotmail was a strong brand before Microsoft bought it.

        1. Levente Szileszky

          Re: Hey Satya, free tip..

          "Hotmail was a strong brand before Microsoft bought it."

          Yes. I even had a mailbox there. Then I heard they bought it and immediately evacuated and moved somewhere else - just in time, because few months (weeks?) later they got hacked, in the most embarrassing amateur way and a crapload of people discovered their passwords were out in the open...

          ...never looked back, never moved back (sans some test accounts.)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hey Satya, free tip - and it's beyond your nose

        "True. My opinion is that they'd do much better sticking with just "Azure".

        In my opinion they'd do much better coming up with a better name than "Azure" than worrying about the "Microsoft" part.

        "Azure" is a color term with no relevance or direct mental association with the product; you could call it "Microsoft Donut" and it would still have the same inherent meaning, that being "None". What the hell is "Microsoft Azure" to the average person? There is absolutely no brand recognition built-in to that term, yet they foolishly believe that it will come to pass simply with a name change away from "Windows".

        Come up with a better name than "Azure" and THEN you can worry about brand recognition.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hey Satya, free tip - and it's beyond your nose

          I think the Microsoft guys were told that the Cloud was going be the death of Microsoft, so they hate it.

          When it came to naming their proprietary Cloud (an oxymoron), they went for blue (as in sky) azure which is what you have when all the Could is destroyed.

          It does look as if the trinity of Cloud+mobile+social is doing a bit of damage to Microsoft's business.

          If only they had left IE 6 in place, I am sure the Cloud would still be running slow and going wrong all the time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hey Satya, free tip..

      I think of Apple. Microsoft are not overpriced and Apple are far worse at the other 3...

  6. PhilipN

    It's geopolitical

    Sounds like Microsoft Asia.

    There may be other homophones which Microsoft will use to reveal their Grand Plan but I can't be arsed to figure out what they might be.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meh

    I could care less

    1. Old Handle
      Coat

      Re: meh

      So you do care some.

      1. fandom

        Re: meh

        He could care less but he can't be bothered

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: meh

      You could care less or you couldn't care less? They do have different meanings.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't laugh

    Don't laugh but I think we will see Microsoft 8.x released soon and in the future Microsoft 9. Can't sell Windows 8, change the name.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't laugh

      Windows RG. Cant beat it.

    2. Chika

      Re: Don't laugh

      Trouble with that is that they already played that card when they named Vista's successor.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't laugh

      I was thinking the same.

      Is this the first sign of Microsoft admitting that Windows 8 and RT have irreversibly damaged the Windows brand?

      Not that they'd ever have the balls to really undo the damage, they'll probably continue to blame it on things like piracy and install even more heinous licensing methods for the rest of us. It was nice when software 'just worked' out the box with minimal reconfiguration needed.

  9. A Long Fellow
    Alien

    What a career!

    Consider the sad probability that several somebodies are likely getting paid several handsome salaries to formulate the "strategy" and the "communications" behind this.

    Can you imagine meeting your maker with this on your record?

    Droid: I operationalized an emergent reimagining of corporate communications, materializing meaningful cognizant evolutions in the conceptual metaspaces of user consciousness.

    Maker: You changed the word "Windows" to "Microsoft".

    Droid: Indicative cultural signifiers demonstrated -

    Maker: You go to hell.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What a career!

      The great Bill Hicks line: -

      If you work in marketing or advertising, just kill yourself. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan's little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now.

      1. Philip Lewis

        Re: What a career!

        I believe Dilbert described Marketing as the place for people with zero skills - purgatory for an engineer

    2. Euripides Pants

      Re: What a career!

      "operationalized an emergent reimagining of corporate communications, materializing meaningful cognizant evolutions in the conceptual metaspaces of user consciousness."

      Dude, self-inflicted brain damage is not a good way to get attention...

  10. fredesmite

    A turd with lipstick is still a turd.

    1. cyborg
      FAIL

      Especially if one is to use turd lipstick.

  11. pirithous

    Rename Windows

    Microsoft needs to rename "Windows" for the desktop, mobile, and server market also. This isn't 1985 anymore, and there's been so much damage done over the years in terms of the negative connotation Windows has promulgated. GUI's were cool in 1985. Here are some stupid names Microsoft has came up with thus far: Bing, Zune, Azure, Bob, and Windows. "Microsoft" is actually a good name, so they really need to hire some people that have better taste.

    1. Robert Forsyth

      Re: Rename Windows

      The computers Microsoft write for are not really called Micro, nowadays, since perhaps they are more powerful than mini-computers of yesteryear. Long time since writing BASIC for hobby microprocessor computers. I assumed microprocessor software was reduced to Microsoft.

      More problematic, is that tablets and phones do not typically have windows, tending to have full screen interaction.

      I assume Azure refers to the (colour of the) sky or sea; Windows implies a user-interface, despite how poor a simile that is. Azure for sky-blue would seem a good fit for something for your clouds to float in.

      Dibs on Screens and Panels

      1. Red Bren
        Pirate

        Re: Rename Windows

        I assume Azure refers to the (colour of the) sky or sea;

        It's the colour of the screen (of death)

        1. Euripides Pants

          Re: ASOD

          Yep, so much better than BSOD.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the company who thought that because 'people' liked running a single application full screen on their tablets, that they'd obviously like to be able to do that on their fucking great big (very expensive) desktop monitor... does anyone really hold out any hope that a company which thinks like that can come up with any idea which 'people' are going to buy into?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Don't forget that if you like having a 3x3 grid of your favorite apps on your phone - you would like a similar grid with every last little utility that visual studio installs.

      Want to be able to single touch and launch the windows foxpro resource toolkit compiler linker librarian - no problem.

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      " This is the company who thought that because 'people' liked running a single application full screen on their tablets, that they'd obviously like to be able to do that on their fucking great big (very expensive) desktop monitor..."

      Of course, you could do that already. Microsoft brilliance was in making a new version of windows where you had no choice(*) - thus removing the stress associated with making the decision.

      And let's face it, who doesn't want a computer costing hundreds with the same functionality as a 30 quid tablet?

      (*) Yes, I know the traditional desktop is there, but MS were pushing metro/not-metro (or whatever) as the next big thing.

      1. ChrisElvidge

        Optional

        And let's face it, who doesn't want a computer costing hundreds with the same functionality as a 30 quid tablet?

        No. What we want is a 30 quid tablet with the same fuctionality as a several hundred quid tablet.

  13. ben_myers
    Pirate

    When will the next name change be?

    From Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure. What's next? Microsoft Teal? Microsoft Red? What is so special about azure? It's part of the atmosphere. Do I store stuff in the atmosphere or in a cloud? This is akin to lipstick on a pig. I guess they are so embarrassed by Windows 8 that it no longer provides the name-branding so important in selling other products and services.

    And, oh. Microsoft Azure is already here!

    https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/

    Oh the excitement of it all! My heart is racing!

    I bet they spent a $500,000 on all the development and testing to change the name, and the content can still be examined by the NSA and the Chinese equivalent.

    1. Mikel

      Re: When will the next name change be?

      $500,000? If they spent so little I would be truly shocked.

      1. hplasm
        Devil

        Re: When will the next name change be?

        $500,000 would get them the Smart Price or Tesco Value branding- that would be better.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: When will the next name change be?

      What is so special about azure?

      It's a sort of "Little Blue", isn't it? Maybe one day they hope it will grow up to be a Big Blue?

      In the meantime it doesn't have so far to go to get to Blue(SOD) when it crashes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When will the next name change be?

        "What is so special about azure?"

        Slightly topically, given MS apparent "I'll roll over and you can tickle my tummy" stance with the NSA, it was used in the BBC's classic "Edge of darkness" to mean bugging by MI5.

    3. Phil_Evans

      Re: When will the next name change be?

      Aha! Microsoft are far too clever for you, I'm afraid. I sat in a convention room during a TechEd demo where the froth-men were showcasing what was to become Azure. The room was full of socially delinquent geeks (sorry, employees) who were sworn to non-disclosure, however recording the event on a Windows phone, secret slides and all was ok.... The codename for Azure at the time? Red Dog.

      Never underestimate the power of the er, Red side.

      But I agree, any negative sentiment around Windows will probably only be polarised by the name Microsoft and (still) confused by the identity of 'Azure'.

  14. John Doe 6

    Logical move...

    ...somone @Microsoft has discovered the fact that their biggest problem is the very bad reputation of Windows, I've heard following on a platform in a larger European city (the train was again late): "The train company probably 'upgraded' to Windows".

    It is a standing joke here and we are considered a "Microsoft country".

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Logical move...

      :-)

      The problem is, though, that the word 'Microsoft' holds the same negative connotations - actually, I think it's worse, as there is no ambiguity to the word as there can be with 'windows'.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Azure - The Cloud Killer

    Is that not a more appropriate title?

  16. Hans 1
    Coat

    Where did you get those stats ? Out of the blue ...

    I always thought they should name it coat, coat d'Azure ... the place down the road from where I live ... famous city called Nice, pronounced Neass.

    The marketing teams are always getting way tooo much attention from the CEO ...

  17. John-IT-Guru

    The comments posted here should be on SNL in the US. You Brits ROCK!

    To my benefit I grew up in England back in the 60's and early 70's

    so I know dry English humor when I see and hear it.

    Every comment was SPOT ON!

    This was the highlight of my day. Thank you England!!!!!

    1. DZ-Jay

      Re: The comments posted here should be on SNL in the US. You Brits ROCK!

      You forgot to say, "Pip! Pip! Cheery-oh."

      Tourists.

      1. Euripides Pants
        Joke

        Re: You forgot to say, "Pip! Pip! Cheery-oh."

        Blimey, those Merkins sure are base nosepickers.

        Oh, wait, I'm a Merkin.

        ...nevermind

    2. hplasm
      Happy

      Re: The comments posted here should be on SNL in the US. You Brits ROCK!

      You're welcome. Please pass on our complements to your countrymen in Redmond for their comedy stylings also.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: The comments posted here should be on SNL in the US. You Brits ROCK!

      " This was the highlight of my day. Thank you England!!!!!"

      You Texans keep forgetting Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland!

  18. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Downvote time

    I actually think for corporates it's an awesome product, at the moment. While there's price competition it's a good service, if the switch between onsite and cloud hosting of your stuff is as simple as they say.

  19. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Maybe there's a different reason...

    ... maybe they're not going to run it on Windows(TM) any more, but port it to, oh, I dunno, BSD?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe there's a different reason...

      Azure doesn't 'Run on Windows'. It runs on a custom version of Hyper-V Server, which a is monolithic Hypervisor layer similar to VMWare vSphere and does not include Windows Server!

  20. JDX Gold badge

    Ah the wisdom of nerds

    Little engineer wage slaves in their protected environment. Safely isolated from the rest of the world and able to pontificate about how "marketing is a waste of time" and "engineering is all that matters", totally unaware that without the marketing department they would be out of a job. Occasionally, a talented nerd will come up with an idea for a new product and bravely let go of mummy employer's hand to set up on their own, only to realise that actually building the code is only about 10% of the work needed to create and sell their software - messing about with SEO, adwords, etc.

    Marketing may not be to our taste but it makes a difference. Get your heads out of your cubicles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah the wisdom of nerds

      I vote for gold badges to be removed in exceptional cases of unpopularity.

      What is your up:down vote ratio?

    2. Vociferous

      Re: Ah the wisdom of nerds

      Could even the Microsoft marketing department believe that changing the name from Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure (all light on Microsoft!) would actually make the product more popular in the face of superior competitors?

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Ah the wisdom of nerds

      Marketing is a form of propaganda. If done well, it serves as a useful communication vehicle, and doesn't anger people very much, but it's the abuses that are the problem. Geeks just happen to be quite sensitive towards the abusal.

      Oh, and the most evil characteristic of bad propaganda - it polarizes people, turns them against each other.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Obviously...

    ...it's Azure thing.

  22. K Cartlidge
    Meh

    Azure

    Azure is actually quite good for .Net website hosting. That's the limit of my experience with it as the PHP/MySQL option sucked (due to persistent timeouts caused by limited connections to the third-party database hosting they use for MySQL). Availability, performance and pricing is, as ever, a matter of lies, damned lies and statistics depending upon how you look at it and who you ask.

    It's a shame, really. Dropping 'Windows' from the name makes sense in that 'Windows' is a dying horse with a pretty bad smell in these days of OS/server/form factor alternatives, but replacing it with 'Microsoft' won't help until the automatic mental association with 'Windows' in the public consciousness has gone.

    It's a necessary step but only the first of a large number needed as they 'pivot' (yes, I too hate that word but for this it seems appropriate).

    Personally, I get the feeling that Nadella is embarrassed with Windows and if it weren't for support life-cycle expectations and residual revenue he'd like to phase it out. They have enough other billion-dollar businesses to survive quite happily, and the dead-weight of Windows is dragging them down.

    In fairness, I guess it's difficult to turn your back on a product that brings in billions - especially if you have shareholders - even if you know the association is losing it's lustre.

  23. Chika

    Why don't they just call it "Microsoft Hot Air"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Clouds are formed as the water vapour cools, so surely it would have to be "Microsoft Cold Air"?

      1. Euripides Pants

        And when there's enough water vapor it rains, so it should really be called Microsoft Cold Shower...

  24. HangFire

    A titanic shift in paradigm

    Move the deck chairs a little more to the left... a little more, there! That'll show Google!

  25. HangFire

    A titanic paradigm shift

    Move the deck chairs a little more to the left... a little more... there! That'll show Google!

  26. Joe Montana

    Makes sense..

    For most people, the "windows" branding is toxic, it brings up associations with an unfashionable, boring and unreliable product that is only really tolerated because most people are unaware that anything else exists in its core market.

  27. Vociferous

    I can't wait for Nigella's press release.

    I haven't played Buzzword Bingo for almost a day.

    Seriously, though, it makes me a little bit sad seeing Microsoft flail around. The company clearly has no idea where it's going. But just a little bit sad, because then I remember that the reason it's flopping is because it decided to out-Apple Apple at treating users as mildly retarded sheep.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting

    Microsoft seems to be under the impression that the 'Microsoft' brand has a better image than the 'Windows' brand. I can say with full confidence that this is not the case: they both have a dusty, oh-my-god-i-have-to-vomit kind of image.

  29. Daedalus

    Blue sky thinking

    Only Microsoft would name a cloud product with a word usually used to describe a clear blue sky!

  30. Tank boy
    Windows

    So...

    Is this like when they renamed Metro? Call it what you want to MS, it's still probably going to suck until you get the bugs worked out. Sort of like Windows 8.1.

    Sadly, my new laptop had 8.1 installed, but I'm stubbornly keeping it for 6 months until I migrate back to Linux.

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