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Can a new Microsoft CEO raise the provider to the cloud elite?

Microsoft has a new CEO, but David Linthicum still isn't convinced about its future success. He and his guest discuss this and IBM's cloud chances.

Microsoft's recent leadership moves have some in the industry hopeful about the provider's market chances, but David Linthicum isn't as optimistic. Dave and James Staten, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc., discuss the new Microsoft CEO and Windows Azure leader and what these appointments mean for the vendor's future. But with Microsoft's attempt at Platform as a Service (PaaS) and then abrupt move to the more lucrative Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) alongside AWS, will the new leadership at Microsoft untangle its cloud Web or just confuse its users even more?

But Microsoft isn't the only provider taking aim at Amazon Web Services (AWS). IBM launched an anti-Amazon campaign during the AWS cloud conference in November. Dave and James discuss how this strategy has been working out for IBM and others who followed suit. Topics include:

1. There has been some hemming and hawing about Satya Nadella's recent appointment as the new Microsoft CEO, and it has moved Scott Guthrie into his place overtaking the cloud business. Are these moves the best options for Microsoft? And what does it mean that Microsoft is promoting tech-savvy leaders rather than big businessmen? Because he's been at Microsoft for more than a decade, does Guthrie have the vision to grow and change the company or has he been drinking too much Microsoft Kool-Aid? And can Nadella grow the company into one unified vision, rather than disparate divisions?

2. Months after IBM's advertising blitz on AWS re:Invent in the fall, how has the provider's antagonistic approach affected its place in the market? Did the campaign fall on deaf ears, or is it turning heads away from the cloud king? Will other cloud providers follow this aggressive strategy?

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