We couldn’t help but beam brightly when we saw this headline the other day in the Seattle Times: “Windows Azure now one of Microsoft’s billion-dollar businesses.” Here’s the summary:

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It’s a big deal at Microsoft when one of its products or services joins its billion-dollar club,  the ones that bring in a billion dollars or more of revenue a year.

The latest to join that club: the Windows Azure cloud platform, which launched in 2010. Curt Anderson, chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Server and Tools division, told Bloomberg News that annual sales of  Windows Azure software and related software programs have now surpassed $1 billion.

Moreover, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. is quoted in the article as saying “I expect [revenues from the cloud for Microsoft] to double annually.”

We are excited both about our company achieving this milestone and also having a future that looks so bright for the utility sector. image

As we’ve mentioned before and demonstrated with some select case studies, we believe cloud computing represents a unique opportunity for utilities in the Big Data era. They have the opportunity to save money and resources in many different ways using cloud computing in different ways across their operations. We know that some utilities have reservations about sending all their computing systems up to the cloud and we think they are right to have those cautions. But nonetheless, there are countless opportunities to benefit from small cloud engagements, in their many different forms.

In fact, one of the benefits of getting our newest version of the Smart Energy Reference Architecture is  to see the expanded sections on cloud computing for utilities. Take a look and I think you’ll see why we’re confident the Forrester analyst’s prediction will come true. Utilities and many other companies in many other industries will see the benefits of the cloud each new day. We’re happy to help. – Jon C. Arnold