Microsoft’s annual Build conference just showed how it’s ramping up its appeal to developers — a move that’s key to its cloud battle with Amazon and weathering the pandemic (MSFT)

Satya Nadella

Microsoft’s latest tactic to boost its cloud business is to put more effort into winning over developers.
The company’s Build developer conference this week showcased how Microsoft ramping up its appeal to developers is key to its cloud strategy, and could help it weather the coronavirus pandemic, according to analysts.
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Microsoft has proven its ability to win over large business customers, helping it emerge as the number two cloud. But if it really wants to catch up with Amazon Web Services, its dominant rival in the market, it needs to keep on winning the hearts and minds of the developers who do the dirty work of building software.

It might even need to redefine what being a developer means.

This week, Microsoft held its annual Build developer conference — this year, done completely virtually — and showed what analysts described as a renewed push to appeal to developers.

“I think for one, they’re putting a lot of focus at the high level on the developer side,” Daniel Elman, analyst at Nucleus Research, told Business Insider. “We might have thought they focused on business users. It shows that their focus is going away from the application side to the platform side and the developers using the platform.”

Part of that push also involves building tools that turn non-coders into developers with tools that require little to no coding at all. This can help companies because developers are in high demand, but there often aren’t enough people with the right skills to fill those roles.

“I believe with a lack of developers globally, this new combination can enable some very powerful capabilities,” Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told Business Insider.

To that point, Microsoft announced at Build that it’s acquiring Softomotive, a robotic process automation company that cut out repetitive tasks by automating them. Microsoft also added features to its Power Platform, a product that allows people to develop apps without writing code. Now, users can easily build Power Platform apps that integrate with its popular messaging app Microsoft Teams.

This appeal to developers, both veterans and beginners, helps Microsoft for two reasons for two reasons, analysts say. First, it can help them weather the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as other parts of its business may slow down.

Second of all, “courting developers” will be key to Microsoft’s cloud strategy, says Dan Ives, managing director at Wedbush Securities. Right now, its biggest cloud rival is AWS, which has long been popular among developers.

“Redmond has massive tailwinds and must give developers the updates and product roadmap into 2021 to enable Azure to further close the gap vs AWS,” Ives told Business Insider.

Acquiring Softomotive and other new launches for developers

Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been working to gain momentum with developers by making more of its software available as open source and launching more developer tools. That strategy came to a point with the acquisition in 2018 of GitHub, the open source code-sharing site, for $7.5 billion.

Now, with …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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