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The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

Yup, that'll do the trick

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Microsoft has devised a fresh strategy to distract customers from a raft of tempting offers by rivals – it's changing the name of its cloud computing service Windows Azure.

Windows Azure will be renamed Microsoft Azure tomorrow, a contact confirmed to us today following a scoop by Mary Jo Foley.

The paradigm shift name change is part of a general rebrand by Microsoft to cut the ties between its main products and the old Windows branding – instead it wants everyone to focus on its name. This is part of an overall transformation into a "devices and services" company.

We find ourselves wondering just how effective changing the name of a service can be, considering what Microsoft's rivals are up to.

Tomorrow, for instance, Google is going to make a series of major cloud announcements that will likely see it slash prices and increase the capabilities of its cloud service.

The next day, Amazon will make its own announcements at this year's Amazon Web Services summit.

And the day after that Microsoft's freshly installed chief executive, Satya Nadella will be in San Francisco to give a fluffy, cloudy press conference to Silicon Valley hacks.

Redmond was compelled to do something to distract us from this barrage of announcements, and what better way to slurp a bit of press attention than changing the name of a popular service [That's enough attention - Ed] ®

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