2021 was another banner year for Microsoft’s cloud services, but next year is likely to be even more significant for the tech giant, the number two public cloud company, as it is on track to build 50 to 100 new data centres a year.
Last fall, Microsoft subtly renamed the consortium of services that its management calls “commercial cloud,” to “Microsoft Cloud.”
Microsoft Cloud includes Microsoft 365/Office 365, Azure and the various Azure services, Dynamics 365, several commercial services from LinkedIn, cloud database and analytics services, Enterprise Mobility + Security, the various “online” versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server and others.
Last October, the technology giant announced that Microsoft Cloud generated revenue of $20.7 billion in the first quarter of the fiscal year, which means the company is moving at roughly an annual pace of $80 billion.
What’s likely coming to the Microsoft Cloud in 2022?
Microsoft said it intends to acquire Nuance as early as April 2021 for $19.7 billion, the latter business currently focused on healthcare, with its voice recognition technology helping to simplify and automate the doctor-patient interaction process.
Microsoft officials expressed confidence that Nuance’s technology would be suitable for many vertical industries outside the healthcare sector.
Microsoft is also in full swing across its sales floors for its vertical/industry clouds. These industry clouds are bundles of Microsoft 365/Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365 and various templates and application programming interfaces that are dedicated to vertical markets such as healthcare, retail, finance, manufacturing, nonprofit organizations and others.
As for Azure, Microsoft is expected to introduce emerging areas such as Azure Quantum, Azure for Operators (telco) and Azure Space (for those using satellite imagery and services) – along with its federal cloud work – which is all interrelated and mutually beneficial.
Just a few months ago, Microsoft reorganized its Cloud + AI business unit and created a new single Strategic Missions and Technologies Team aimed at using their “learnings” from each company to develop digital solutions for the others.
2022 could also be the year for Microsoft’s MetaOS strategy to finally emerge as a new ‘modern workplace’ product and service.
Insiders say Microsoft has been working on bringing together Microsoft Graph, Microsoft Search and the Fluid Framework – along with building blocks central to its office suites such as Whiteboard, Planner, Listen, ToDo – to create a “MetaOS” platform for work and play.
Finally, it is high time to look forward to Microsoft President James Phillips’ Digital Transformation Platform Group – another opportunity for the tech giant to drive the integration story full-stack, not only with the more prominent industry clouds but also with Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Azure AI Platform, Azure Data Platform and Azure IoT Platform.
For more information, read the original story in ZDNet.