As for Azure, when a corporation needs revenue, it has to look outside of the box & at all of their options. Azure is powering many VM's, more Linux than Windows ones.
What a lot of small business owners with Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro users doesn't realize, is that they have the power to to the same in their office (or home office), on a smaller scale, with a $1000-$1500 PC that has VM capabilities & a few $400 PC's for employee functions. Hyper-V is an optional component of these OS's, it simply has to be enabled in the "Turn Windows services on or off" box that appears if typed in the Control Panel. This OS has taken a severe beating in the media, but few realizes the true power that these OS's has under the hood.
For the corporation though, this won't cut it, and where Azure comes in.
The G-series instances offer up to 32 Xeon cores, 450 GB of RAM, and 6.5 TB of local SSD storage. Azure also has a new premium storage facility, offering up to 32 TB of storage per virtual machine, capable of sustaining more than 50,000 IOPS, with a sub-1 ms read latency.
That's a lot of Linux VM's running in that machine, and that SSD storage is only getting larger, as SanDisk has plans to produce a 16TB SSD by late 2015/early 2016. 8TB models are in current use, and are of the PCIe type, not SATA 3. Is it a wonder why Steve Ballmer had to go? He has had a severe attitude issue with Linux for many years, and no matter what the bottom line was, no way was he going to be in a huge conference openly speaking with Linux executives with a straight face. Honestly, I don't believe he could put one on.
Speaking of Linux user share, 30 years ago in 1984, Bill Gates would have been delighted to have had the number of today's Linux users on his side. Back then he was fighting with his entire body & soul for a fraction of the total number of Linux users we now have, as he was trying to get recognized.
It's good to hear this side of things. Reminds me of the day in 1997 when heavily booed by his own following via video conference (normally his following would be jam packed in the arena), Steve Jobs accepted the fact that there was room for both Windows & Mac. I don't think for one second that Steve Ballmer would be as gracious towards the Linux community.
That's one reason, out of several, that he had to go. Throwing terms such as 'cancer' around on multiple occasions in reference to the opposition isn't that of a businessman, it sounds & comes across like that of a madman.
Through the Azure project, Microsoft will not harm, but rather advance, the Linux community. There's room for everyone.