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Microsoft wants more startups using its software and services. Is Microsoft Ventures the answer?

Microsoft already has lots of startups-oriented programs including BizSpark and an array of accelerators. Now it’s roping them altogether under the Microsoft Ventures umbrella, according to a  blog post by Rahul Sood, GM of Microsoft Startups

Satya Nadella Microsoft
Satya Nadella, President, Server and Tools Division, Microsoft (c) 2013 Pinar Ozger [email protected]

The move comes as the company kicks off its big Build conference this week, where Microsoft will pitch its Windows Azure ecosystem as the go-to environment for developing and deploying applications. Microsoft is banking that existing Windows and .NET shops will make this move but also knows it needs to woo startups that gravitate to open source operating systems and other code for their work. Most of those startups end up using Amazon Web Services (s amzn).

Last week Microsoft cloud chief Satya Nadella told GigaOM Microsoft Azure is getting traction in both camps but also indicated it has more work to do.

It is unclear from this post if Microsoft is actually devoting more funding and resources to this effort (one would assume so) or is just shuffling around and reorganizing the existing programs and funds it already has earmarked for startup boosting. I reached out to Microsoft for more information about the new program but haven’t heard back, and will update this post when and if I do.

Update:  A spokeswoman said the company is investing more in global startups, but is not sharing funding numbers. In addition, she said Microsoft is now investing in companies located outside the U.S., provided they are incorporated here. And it is expanding its owned-and-operated accelerators to Rio De Janeiro, Berlin and Moscow.

This story was updated at 10:58 a.m. PDT June 25 with additional detail on the program.

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