by bill-s, 2020-06-22T22:15:42.481Z
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud service provider. A cloud service provider (CSPs) is a technology company that offers multiple cloud services. Azure has listed over 600 cloud service offerings, from computing to storage to databases to machine learning.
Azure is the second most popular cloud platform behind Amazon Web Services (AWS). Still, many long-lived or large tech companies are embracing both cloud platforms. This may be because Azure is able to compete on cost, niche cloud-offerings, easy integration, and developers' familiarity with Microsoft software.
Azure has three competitive advantages when compared with other cloud platforms like AWS and Google Cloud.
Advantage #1: Azure and Microsoft have invested heavily in Developer Tools
Microsoft developed the most popular code editor to date, Visual Studio Code.
They also acquired GitHub and ported its functionality directly into Azure.
Microsoft also owns Minecraft, and has used it as a tool to onboard young developers to programming and cloud computing.
Advantage #2: Microsoft Active Directory
Many companies have invested in Active Directory to control access to software and workstations. Now, they can easily extend that to the Azure cloud and not have to learn a new tool for managing access.
When you want to sell software to large companies, a general requirement for purchase is to perform Single-Sign-On with Microsoft Active Directory, and Azure has the hometown advantage here.
Advantage #3: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
I think AWS has a better offering for ML and AI, but Azure has done a better job making its offerings more palatable to tech companies.
Azure divides their AI services into many small isolated services, and they have certifications for data-based roles at the Associate tier. This makes these roles feel more obtainable to aspiring developers.