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Azure Updates: Build; Container Apps; Security; European Union decisions

by MSCN Reporter
Staff Writer,
May 22 2023

Microsoft Build 2023 begins later today. In anticipation of the event, Microsoft switched to a slate of smaller updates and announcements, likely holding its big news for the week ahead. Azure Center for SAP solutions entered general availability. It provides integrated capabilities for deploying and managing SAP, including an SAP Virtual Instance. Through the GA announcement, Microsoft anticipates that customers will be able to interact with the SAP system “as an entire entity instead of its individual components.”

Two announcements touched on pipelines. Container Apps supports a new Pipelines task to build and deploy container apps from DevOps. Similarly, a new GitHub action is available to build and deploy to Container Apps.

To meet security goals, Microsoft indicated Backup Reports has broadened support to Database for PostgreSQL, Blobs, and Disks. Microsoft streamlined upgrades for Application Gateway Web Application Firewall and deployed new policy analytics for Firewall.

Just days after the European Union approved Microsoft’s $68 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, subject to conditions, Bloomberg reported that the European Commission has launched an unofficial competition probe of Azure.  The EU reached out to Microsoft customers and competitors to inquire whether Microsoft is using confidential information to dominate the market. The new investigation is distinct from an EU competition investigation of Microsoft’s bundling Office and Teams.

ISG shared new research the state of Azure uptake around the world. The 2023 ISG Provider Lens Microsoft Cloud Ecosystem report found that Swiss firms are lagging similar companies elsewhere in Europe and North America in adoption of cloud. Azure only became available in Switzerland two years ago. Currently, most Swiss firms adopt Azure by partnering with large service providers, whereas smaller firms typically choose local partners. Despite the slow uptake, ISG projects that Swiss uptake will increase faster than other parts of Europe because the economy is less impacted by continent-wide macroeconomic trends and has significant demand for file storage and unified communications. By contrast, in the Brazilian market, a need to contain costs is driving significant demand for managed services. Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 uptake is also growing considerably in Brazil.

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