He also noted that by adding a hardware component to its offering, Microsoft could find a way around the so-called price wars going on between Google and Amazon. "I see this as a smart move for Microsoft to stay out of the low-end commodity fray, and be a solid provider of business cloud services, no matter what flavor you want," said Gold.
Microsoft's moves could have its high-profile cloud competitors looking over their shoulders.
"They'll put up a strong fight, even where Google and Amazon have their greatest strength," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "I think both firms always knew Microsoft was going to be a problem for them. This just reminds them of that fact."
"Amazon and Google aren't selling hardware for a private cloud," he said. "That's the difference. Microsoft, with Dell, is.... Microsoft and Dell are both respected enterprise vendors, so I think this new offering will certainly get the attention of enterprise buyers."
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