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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella presents at the company's cloud event in San Francisco
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella presents at the company’s cloud event in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — As a part of its big cloud event today, Microsoft announced the Azure Marketplace, an online market that will allow startups and software vendors to offer their solutions to companies using Microsoft Azure.

Azure Marketplace pulls together all of Microsoft’s partners in the cloud, including new offerings just announced today from CoreOS and Cloudera. Customers can go through the marketplace’s offerings and then spin up an application in a few clicks, using the resources in Microsoft’s cloud. Vendors can create a template for what resources should get provisioned as a part of standing up a new instance of the application, so that companies have an easy way to get off the ground.

In addition, companies can set themselves up as resource providers and offer particular endpoints that allow other application developers to pull in information.

Alex Polvi
Alex Polvi

“Giving some perspective, it’s lightyears ahead of Google, Amazon, even Rackspace for that matter, being able to do the resource providers as well as templates,” CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi told GeekWire in an interview. “Amazon has the ability to boot one machine and market up, it’s pretty primitive. Google has no marketplace at all. Rackspace’s is just marketing pages. So the fact that you have the ability to spin up a whole application is really useful.”

Partners will be able to monetize their applications on a variety of different models, including one-time-purchase and per-hour monetization. Azure customers will only get one bill from Microsoft when using services provided through the Marketplace as well.

In the future, companies interested in getting their applications into the Marketplace will have to go through an on-boarding process with Microsoft, but the company is committed to expanding the number of partners providing services through the new tool.

It’s another key move for Microsoft as the company works to continue growing its cloud business. Azure is gaining more than 10,000 customers every week, and Microsoft has said that it’s committed to being one of the largest players in the cloud space.

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