Big Data/Analytics

6 businesses Microsoft is in

Analytics Joe Curtis

14:23, June 27 2014


We all know what Microsoft does…don’t we?

With Google testing self-driving cars and Facebook applying for a license to launch an electronic money service in Ireland, it's no secret that tech giants have their fingers in a lot of pies.

With this in mind, we thought it would be timely to check out exactly what Microsoft's up to, now new CEO Satya Nadella's reign is well under way.

His much-trumpeted focus on a mobile-first, cloud-first strategy has seen Redmond make Office available on Apple's iPad as well as open up APIs to allow developers to build apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 simultaneously.

So devices and cloud are clearly money-spinners for Microsoft, but what other businesses is the company involved in?

Server and cloud


Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform and has been around since 2010. It provides Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service options, you can build and deploy apps and provision Windows Server or Linux virtual machines.

As of July 2014, a public preview of Azure Machine Learning (AzureML) is also available. This predictive analytics tool pulls in Xbox and Bing algorithms and lets customers make their own to pull all kinds of predictions out of big data.

Windows Server

Windows Server 2012 R2 offers features and enhancements in virtualisation, management, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access and information protection, and the web and application platform.

Telefonica has used it as the basis of its own private cloud (used as part of a hybrid cloud solution) and trimmed IT costs by 15%.

SQL Server

This is pretty much Microsoft's in-memory database, competing with the likes of SAP's HANA, IBM's platform and Oracle's own recently-announced offering. It crunches data but isn't to be confused with AzureML, which also rakes through the ones and zeros.

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