Source: 01 Blockchain
Currently, BigTech worldwide is accelerating the layout of the blockchain. For blockchain, Microsoft has its own clear definition, and believes that blockchain is a transparent and verifiable system that will change people's views on the exchange of value and assets, the execution of contracts and the sharing of data. It also considers this technology to be a shared, secure transaction book distributed over a computer network, rather than being kept by a single provider. In the layout of the blockchain, Microsoft builds technical barriers through its own technical advantages on the one hand, and builds a blockchain enterprise ecosystem through external cooperation on the other, and provides blockchain services for enterprises. This article analyzes the development history, business layout and layout reasons of Microsoft Blockchain. Microsoft is the earliest technology giant to lay out a blockchain. It first introduced Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) and decided "All in Blockchain"; its blockchain layout is based on Azure cloud services According to the latest data from the research organization Garter on blockchain cloud services, Microsoft's blockchain cloud services are topped by five technology giants including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon, Google, IBM and Oracle.
Development history: Based on Azure cloud platform, the earliest launch of BaaS services
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The research organization Gartner analyzed the 2018 blockchain cloud of six companies including Microsoft, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Oracle from five dimensions: overall situation, core infrastructure, tools and services, application development and public chain. The relevant technical evaluation of the service has shown that Microsoft has become the world's largest blockchain cloud service provider. Among the indicators, Microsoft has 7 high levels, 5 medium levels, and 4 low levels. .
Figure 2: Ranking of global blockchain cloud services
Gartner believes that on the blockchain cloud service, Microsoft's advantage is that it is one of the founding members of the enterprise Ethereum alliance. It has a high degree of support for Ethereum technology, but it does not support the Hyperledger Fabric technology architecture and has no set controls To manage infrastructure components.
Table 1: Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the blockchain cloud services of the six technology giants
Source: Gartner, Zero One Think Tank
Looking back at the history of blockchain layout, Microsoft's blockchain-related layout originated in 2014, and the real layout of blockchain technology originated in 2015. It is the earliest technology giant to lay out the blockchain .
In 2014, Microsoft began accepting bitcoin payments, and users of Windows 10 systems in the United States can use Bitcoin to purchase applications, games, and more. In November 2015, Microsoft launched the Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) platform based on Azure cloud services, becoming the first technology giant to launch BaaS services. Azure BaaS is based on Ethereum. On the Azure cloud platform, applying blockchain technology provides partners and developers with a "one-click cloud-based blockchain development environment", enabling them to quickly create public cloud-based, private Cloud and hybrid cloud blockchain environments.
Among them, the Bletchley platform is a window for Microsoft to provide BaaS services. It is an open blockchain platform driven by the Azure cloud platform. The blockchain work platform Azure Blockchain Workbench is also structured on Azure BaaS, which can simplify the application development of developers and make the creation of blockchain applications easier.
In addition, for enterprise users, directly applying the existing public chain technology cannot meet the enterprise level requirements for system performance and security. After complex application development processes and network deployment management, even through fundamental architecture changes, it is also very Difficult to achieve the desired goal. The enterprise-level open source blockchain basic platform, the Confidential Consortium Blockchain Framework (Coco Blockchain Framework), provides enterprise-level blockchain solutions by integrating existing blockchain protocols, including Ethereum, Quorum, and Corda. A framework for simultaneously addressing performance, privacy, and organizational management issues on an enterprise-level blockchain.
Figure 3: Development process of Microsoft BaaS services
Source: Zero One Think Tank
Business layout: lock in corporate customers and build a blockchain service ecosystem
Table 2: Incomplete statistics of Microsoft's cooperation in the blockchain field
Source: Zero One Think Tank based on public information
Reason for layout: Build a "cloud + blockchain" service ecosystem, reduce development costs, and strengthen data security
Source: Zero One Think Tank
At present, Microsoft cloud services have formed a whole industry chain layout from IaaS (VM, Storage, Network) to PaaS (AAD, SQL, Media, VSOnline) to SaaS (Office 365, Machine Learning). According to Canalys' 2018 global cloud service market ranking, Microsoft's cloud service market share ranks second in the world, second only to Amazon, but the annual growth rate is much higher than Amazon, exceeding 80%, and the potential for cloud service development is huge.
Figure 6: Ranking of cloud service market
Source: Canalys Cloud Channels Analysis, February, 2019
Utilizing its comparative advantage in cloud services, Microsoft can greatly reduce the development and deployment costs of blockchain applications, and it can effectively promote the expansion of blockchain to more areas, which will have an important role in building an enterprise service ecosystem for Microsoft.