Open Source Azure & create a marketplace of providers with no loss of strategic control or tax.
A marketplace of providers will require multiple providers, access to code / data and semantic interoperability. This means a common reference model. If Azure is open sourced then it can act as the common model without the providers suffering a loss of strategic control or tax. Given that cloud is about provision of commodity services (i.e. activities which are ubiquitous and well defined and hence suitable to support the volume operations needed), the value is in the service not the bits and hence creating a free market (as opposed to a controlled market) would benefit consumers.
Yeah sure, Microsoft will surely open source Azure the same way it has already open sourced Windows. Right. No seriously, if the "cloud is about provision of commodity services" then what does open sourcing Azure have to do with that. The commodity service is the hosting, not the platform. I understand wanting to have an open environment, but you could always build your own open source platform instead of being critical about Microsoft not open sourcing theirs.
In a meeting I had with Winston Bumpus at a vmware EBC a couple of weeks ago, my statement was "for all of this cloud adoption to become mainstream, the basic layers have to become as standardized and widely adopted as USB". Open sourcing Azure would help that goal. There has been a massive business built on selling products that use the USB standard as the basic tenent - this is where the cloud service market could learn from.
Andrew Kozak commented
If Microsoft were to combine the leverage of its resources as a for-profit corporation with the power of the open-source community, Azure would dominate the nascent cloud-platform space.
Ethan D. Monat commented
Open Source Azure - or it will be trampled into the pages of forgotten software history.