Don’t underestimate Microsoft’s Azure

Google Docs, Microsoft Office Live, SAP businessbydesign are examples of how major IT companies are leading the SaaS (r)evolution.

With Azure, Microsoft is not only offering another piece of its SaaS strategy puzzle. Instead, it is mobilizing its strongest asset – its developer community.

Remember, this very community has helped Microsoft to gain and maintain its current market position as the world’s leading software company.

Recently, the example of Apples AppStore, in particular compared to the slow start of Nokia’s Ovi offering, has also shown the relevance of a strong developer community for user acceptance and a successful platform launch (with RIM/Blackberry about to launch a similar program now).

Microsoft’s move is very smart. Not only because it opens an additional revenue stream for Microsoft.

Ultimately, the launch of Azure is a strategic move towards SaaS leadership. It might be a first step towards repeating Microsoft’s PC success in the new world of SaaS.