It's time to think of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as a serious player in cloud computing, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Just this week, Mr. Softy made available a version of Hadoop for Big Data analysis via its Windows Azure cloud infrastructure platform. Clients can "spin up" a cluster of servers for analyzing data on demand. The goal, Microsoft's Eron Kelly said in an interview with ZDNet, is to bring Big Data tools to "a billion people."

That's a good sign for investors, Tim says. Microsoft isn't merely willing to concede advanced cloud infrastructure projects to the likes of Amazon.com and Rackspace Hosting. Instead, Mr. Softy is using Azure to deliver sophisticated features even as it extends the life and usefulness of Windows networks.

Do you agree? Are you managing Big Data projects? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.