I’ve always had a soft spot for .NET PaaS provider Apprenda, they were one of the very first PaaS providers, their CEO Sinclair Schuller is a thought leader around PaaS and Cloud more generally and they display a laser focus on sticking to their core business – delivering the best PaaS stack for .NET possible. That said they’re a vendor who has been eclipsed a little by the likes of Heroku, CloudFoundry and others as the industry looks to polyglot as the preferred way to deliver Paas.
...indications are that Microsoft sees this move as much broader than .NET, rather it’s an opportunity to go wide and attract large numbers of applications on Azure, regardless of language. That’s a pretty strong blow to those (Apprenda in particular) asserting a best of breed position. I put this hypothetical situation to Schuller who said that;
“it [developments like the AppFog deal] could be a bonafide hybrid competitor to us, but in a weak market position since its primary sponsor (VMware) is Microsoft’s biggest enemy. Because of this, a CloudFoundry based competitor would not be aligned with Microsoft and would unlikely fill the market gap of helping enterprises bridge into Azure over time, putting them at a significant strategic disadvantage (I.e. our goal is to help people adopt Azure, theirs would not be, thereby nullifying their market position in the context of Microsoft)”