Azure Merges Into Server and Tools Business

Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie announced last month that the company is readying its Windows Azure cloud development platform for release with the start of the new year.

Now, in a move to bring the Azure organization closer to the software giant’s other server and tools efforts, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has announced it’s merging the Azure group into the Server & Tools Business (STB).

Ozzie first introduced the Windows Azure platform with much fanfare at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2008 in Los Angeles. Last month, at PDC 2009, also in Los Angeles, Ozzie announced the pending availability of Windows Azure as of January 1, 2010.

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s biggest play in the cloud computing arena, and the company has been building massive datacenters worldwide to support Azure-based applications. Overall, cloud computing is a large component of Microsoft’s software-plus-services play to transition the company’s business over time.

“Microsoft is announcing today a new organization within the Server & Tools Business (STB) that combines the Windows Azure group with the Windows Server & Solutions group. This new organization is called the Server & Cloud Division,” said a post on the Windows Azure blog.

The new SCD organization will be headed by senior vice president Amitabh Srivastava, who will report to Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Division. The Azure group previously reported directly to Ozzie.

Meanwhile, the Server and Solutions group, until now has been headed by corporate vice president Bill Laing.

With the change, Laing will report to Srivastava and the two will partner to continue sharing technologies between Windows Server and Windows Azure.

“As SCD, together with our colleagues in Windows Server, we’ll ensure that customers get the full benefit of Microsoft offerings that span Microsoft’s public cloud, on-premises solutions, private clouds, and clouds that our partners host,” the blog post said.

A seperate post on the Windows Server Division blog, underlined that intent.

“This change reflects the alignment of our resources with our strategy, and represents a natural evolution for Microsoft as the Windows Azure business moves from an advanced development project to a mainstream business,” the Server Division blog said.

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