Windows Azure About to Change Their Name?

Sources online are stating that Microsoft is about to announce a name change to the public cloud platform currently named Windows Azure. The Azure name will stick but instead of going with Windows Azure, Microsoft will simply use Microsoft Azure. The name change is a way for Microsoft to differentiate itself from the current Windows lineup in order to focus more on cloud technologies.

As we move towards the Internet of Things, the Windows branding seemed too restrictive because more devices besides Windows devices are now operating in the cloud. Mary Jo Foley is currently reporting the name change and she mentions that “The announcement is expected to happen tomorrow, March 25, and to take effect on April 3, the second day of Microsoft’s Build conference in San Francisco, said a couple of individuals who asked not to be identified, but who are familiar with Microsoft’s plans.”

The move somewhat coincides with the fact Satya Nadella is the new CEO of Microsoft and he is moving the company towards being a cloud-first operation. The switch from using the Windows branding scheme is a shift that will certainly help Microsoft. While there is not much research available on cloud branding techniques, one would think that when you say “Windows” most technically minded people think of the desktop operating system and not the public cloud computing platform. Many ‘techies’ catch themselves mistakenly calling the public cloud platform “Microsoft Azure” anyways so the shift isn’t that dramatic.

While this name change may not seem significant now, it could be the first shots fired in the cloud war against Google, Amazon and IBM. Microsoft will ultimately rely on its desktop PC operation system sales for the next decade. Windows isn’t going away. However, using the Windows title to brand a cloud solution certainly will go away. Microsoft has been rebranding much of its cloud products lately such as renaming SkyDrive to OneDrive. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft has any other rebranding plans in its future.