Microsoft Azure: Turning the Cloud Into a Big Data Processing Machine

To process the flood of data coming in from the “Internet of Things,” CEO Satya Nadella offers users a more robust set of tools connected to Microsoft Azure.

Apr 26, 2014 at 9:00AM

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure is challenging the notion that all cloud computing platforms are created equal. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains Mr. Softy's plan, and its implications, in the following video.

There are two primary elements. First, CEO Satya Nadella has rechristened Mr. Softy's Embedded business as the Internet of Things business unit on the premise that embedded software can't hide from the World Wide Web any longer.

Second, the company is packaging a new product entitled Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service for capturing and managing machine-generated data. Think of it as a warehouse for sorting through the data flowing your own network's Internet of Things. Mix in associated tools HD Insight for Hadoop access and Power BI for analysis and you've the makings of a Big Data processing machine, available entirely in the cloud.

Clients are apparently clamoring for this sort of option. IDC says the market for Big Data technology and services will grow by 27% annualized to $32.4 billion by 2017. Demand for cloud-specific infrastructure is expected to grow nearly twice that -- by 49% annualized -- over the same period.

The news also comes as Mr. Softy wages a brutal price war with the other major cloud computing providers. Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service could set the company's platform apart, enticing users to pay up up for premium access to an otherwise low-cost product.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you believe new capabilities can put Microsoft Azure ahead of cloud computing rivals? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Microsoft stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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