Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud Gets Windows

All you Microsoft-lovin’ techies out there, rejoice! Amazon said today it is now using Microsoft’s Windows Server in its Elastic Compute Cloud. That broadens the number of applications that can run on the service and the potential customer base. It also means that when the service is out of beta some time later this year, GoGrid and FlexiScale, which also provide a Windows computing platform, will have lost a competitive edge against Amazon Web Services.

For those who want to know more, Werner Vogels, Amazon’s CTO, lays out why people wanted Windows, and what customers can do with Windows Server in his blog:

There are many different reasons why customers have requested Windows Server; for example many customers want to run ASP.NET websites using Internet Information Server and use Microsoft SQL Server as their database. Amazon EC2 running Windows Server enables this scenario for building scalable websites. In addition, several customers would like to maintain a global single Windows-based desktop environment using Microsoft Remote Desktop, and Amazon EC2 is a scalable and dependable platform on which to do so.

I wonder how the pricing model for using the Windows EC2 will look. Amazon has to license the software from Microsoft, so pricing may be higher. It’s also possible that Amazon could eat the cost, or that it worked out a favorable licensing deal. Since Amazon declined to talk about pricing yet, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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