In addressing the Hosting & Cloud Transformation Summit on Sep 14th, Microsoft's Elliot Curtis emphasized that Microsoft doesn't view itself as competing with its customers in the cloud computing realm – and, Curtis said, hosting providers shouldn't either. "We believe the market is large enough for us, but also for our service provider partners and there're many customers who'll not want to provision services (directly) from Microsoft."
"We understand that hosters have been pioneers in this space, we get that, you really have been leaders, but make no mistake: this business is accelerating." He estimated that number of servers to move into the cloud could reach 300 million and reminded that all of this'll need huge investments in infrastructure, in order to support workloads.
"Think about moving up the value chain and delivering IT as a service."
The Azure apps are only at the beginning and hosters still have between 12 and 18 months to go before "impact". "We're in very, very early days with our appliance," Curtis said but "we expect that over the next 12-18 months it'll become more available."