From “All In” to abandonment, is Microsoft taking another step in the wrong direction?
Six years after its launch, Microsoft has announced that it is ending its Azure blockchain service.
Microsoft announced the day before yesterday that it will shut down its Azure blockchain service on September 10, 2021. Existing deployments will still be supported until the official shutdown. However, as of May 10 of this year, no new deployments or member creation will be supported.
In a support document released on May 10, Microsoft stated that
On September 10, 2021, Azure Blockchain will retire. Please evaluate your production or development status and migrate ledger data from Azure Blockchain services to other products.
Microsoft does not explain the reasons for this decision in this document, but provides suggestions for next steps.
The first step in planning a migration is to evaluate alternative products. Please evaluate the following alternatives based on your production or development status.
So does this mean that users should also investigate other alternatives in the marketplace in the remaining four months? The good news is that Microsoft is directly recommending ConsenSys’ Quorum Blockchain Service third-party service, because it uses the same GoQuorum Ledger technology as Azure’s Blockchain. Blockchain Service (QBS) service is a fully managed blockchain service that will provide Microsoft customers with a seamless migration experience.
In short, although Microsoft has not yet explained the reason for the closure of its blockchain service, we believe it is likely due to a lack of customers and Microsoft does not want to continue to maintain the old infrastructure.
The world’s first “big player” in blockchain
Over the past 30 years, Microsoft has established a unified standard for business software models and become one of the IT giants. Microsoft has been developing moderately since it missed the bonus period of Internet and mobile Internet. But Microsoft’s response to the blockchain wave of the previous few years has been uncommonly fast.
In December 2014, Microsoft added the first bitcoin payment option to its online store, taking the first step into the virtual finance industry.
In November 2015, Microsoft introduced and launched Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), bringing blockchain technology to Azure and providing BaaS services to customers using Azure cloud services, allowing them to quickly create private, public or hybrid blockchain environments, solving a number of common problems for early cross-industry blockchain users. Azure has thus absorbed a wide range of blockchain players, from established enterprises to smaller startups, and its awareness is growing.
Microsoft has positioned itself to do well in the entire blockchain ecosystem, providing the environment for blockchain to grow, building the platform and launching a wide variety of solutions. in early 2017, Microsoft released its blockchain partner strategy; in February, it joined the Enterprise ethereum consortium with representative companies from various industries around the world and made significant investments in ethereum blockchain technology; in October, it launched “Azure Government Secret” (Azure Government Secret) service ……
For blockchain support, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott said in a 2018 interview, “Microsoft decided to All In blockchain.”
Marley Gray, then Microsoft’s head of financial services technology strategy, argued, “There are idle business processes under the surface of any industry that should be dramatically retooled, and blockchain data services are tremendous opportunities from which we can get a lot of cross-domain historical data and use machine learning to analyze it.” To that end, “we’re pretty much betting on the entire cloud service.”
While there haven’t been any major updates to the Microsoft Azure blockchain service in recent years, Microsoft previously listed General Electric (GE), JPMorgan Chase, Singapore Airlines, Starbucks and Xbox as customers on the Azure blockchain service’s product page. Led by Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Facebook have all made blockchain a major corporate strategy.
IBM has also abandoned blockchain?
The blue giant IBM has also invested quite a lot in blockchain. in December 2015, IBM and 29 other members co-founded the Hyperledger open source project, which is dedicated to applying blockchain solutions to various industries.
In February 2016, IBM launched BaaS, a blockchain services platform that allows developers to create, deploy, run and monitor blockchain applications on the IBM cloud using IBM’s blockchain services on Bluemix with access to fully integrated development operations and maintenance tools. In the Hyperledger Alliance, IBM led the incubation of the Fabirc sub-project, the first to meet the needs of various business application scenarios for the operation of smart contracts.
In the past few years, IBM has been pushing the Fabric project hard, with several well-known service scenarios: FoodTrust, a farm-to-supermarket tracking system supported by Walmart, and TradeLens, a blockchain for shipping container logistics supported by Maersk. In addition, IBM has added the “Trust Your Supplier” (Trust Your Supplier) network, and previously tested the payment field through World Wire.
But in February, news broke that the IBM blockchain team had been cut down to a handful of people, with one person familiar with the matter saying, “IBM won’t have a real blockchain team anymore.”
According to one of the people familiar with the matter, IBM is conducting a massive reorganization of its blockchain division, resulting in the departure of most blockchain personnel, as IBM’s once-vaunted blockchain technology has achieved only 10 percent of its revenue metrics in the year under the epidemic. Sources close to the situation told the media that more than 100 blockchain-related employees were laid off in the last year alone. Meanwhile Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s head of blockchain, has been moved and is now in charge of the AI business unit, where he was also the communications officer for blockchain technology in 2016.
Another person familiar with the matter also said IBM’s blockchain unit has missed revenue targets by a wide margin for two consecutive years. They added that IBM expects too much from enterprise blockchain and that “while IBM has been announcing constantly, it hasn’t really executed on it.”
IBM spokespeople strenuously denied the news, with Holli Haswell, IBM’s director of public relations, saying, “IBM’s blockchain business is in good shape, thanks to concerns. We have realigned some of our leaders and business units to continue to drive growth, as we do every year.” “Blockchain will still be seen as an enabler of our cloud business going forward.”
Few companies have been able to keep their cool during the blockchain hype boom of the past few years, with many companies, led by IT giants like Microsoft and IBM, successively investing huge amounts of manpower and resources. After Microsoft announced the shutdown of its Azure blockchain service, we may have a chance to focus on blockchain itself again, to explore whether the technology is sound enough and which scenarios can actually be implemented and gain benefits. How do you think about blockchain technology, welcome to leave your comments in the comment section!
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/microsoft-announces-closure-of-blockchain-services-for-the-number-one-factory-ironman/
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