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Microsoft drops Windows name from its Azure cloud platform

Microsoft will change the name of its cloud platform next month as Azure drops the Windows moniker and becomes Microsoft Azure.

Related: Microsoft Azure beats out Amazon Web Services in cloud service performance test

The change, which was announced via the MSDN Windows Azure blog, takes effect on 3 April and is part of the company’s new direction under recently appointed chief executive Satya Nadella.

“This change reflects Microsoft’s strategy and focus on Azure as the public cloud platform for customers as well as for our own services Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Bing, OneDrive, Skype, and Xbox Live,” stated the blog post.

Given that the platform is no longer all about Windows the change makes sense and it will allow the firm’s cloud branding to be uniform across all platforms. The Azure service can also be used across a wide range of operating systems, languages and services in any public cloud, which includes Python, Ruby, Node.js, Java, Hadoop, Linux and Oracle.

Microsoft Azure, known early on by its codename “Red Dog” according to ZDNet, has been around for a number of years and was originally billed as the company’s version of Windows Server specifically for the cloud. This combination of its on-premises and cloud services has been at the centre of the company’s private/public/hybrid cloud plan.

The service has gone from strength-to-strength since it was first launched by the Redmond-based company and has done better than many others in challenging Amazon Web Services’ [AWS] lead in the cloud computing industry.

Related: Microsoft kickstarts Azure as a Service to take on Amazon Web Services

Back in February 2013 Microsoft’s Azure cloud service was top of Nasuni’s stringent benchmarking test that ranks all cloud service providers. The figures showed that it was 56 per cent faster than AWS at writing data and 39 per cent faster at reading data compared with AWS.