How the exit of Steve Ballmer will affect Azure users

Steve Ballmer has announced he will be stepping down as CEO of Microsoft.

With the chief executive officer (CEO) of Microsoft Steve Ballmer stepping down, this could have consequences for users of the Azure cloud computing portal. Experts say that if the new Microsoft CEO wishes to achieve, this is the area they should look to advance.

A recognised thought leader for cloud computing, David Linthicum, suggested when writing for InfoWorld that the new CEO of Microsoft is likely to focus on Azure.

Mr Linthicum said that the CEO should look to its developers and meeting their needs to support the growth of Azure. He explained: "Developers are key to the success of cloud computing, and Microsoft has a tonne of them."

A strength of Azure that has helped to cement its progress as one of the biggest cloud services is the size of its infrastructure. This is necessary for the advancement of next generation mobile device applications, which businesses and users alike are becoming more dependent on. Rising statistics on the purchase of mobile devices and falling sales of personal computers are proof that more and more businesses are favouring the flexibility of the former in the way that their business works.

Analysts suspect that the current head of the cloud and enterprise group, which oversees the Azure programme, Satya Nadella holds a strong chance of taking over from Mr Ballmer.

Mr Ballmer has worked with Microsoft for 33 years and has been CEO of the company for 13 years. It is expected that he will leave the company in 12 months time but that this period could be shortened.

As well as Azure, companies use Microsoft applications for the development and deployment of apps. AppFabric, for example, is used for this purpose. Many companies often approach cloud service providers such as Dot Net Solutions for the development of applications, who in turn then use AppFabric to develop their product.

Additionally, other cloud-based software such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Lync are used to power company processes and maintain professional relationships both internally and externally.