Microsoft Azure News: 2021 Year in Review

December 19 2021

With the year now almost wrapped up, it is time to take a look back at all the changes we’ve seen in 2021. In a year defined by inflation, political changes, and the slow recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, Azure experienced continued growth, added new services, changed existing offerings, and continued to be a focus of financial performance.

The articles presented below represent Azure-focused news and articles that covered 2021's most notable product changes and the topics that our audience was most interested to read about.

Microsoft introduces Cloud for Retail, adds B2B e-commerce to expanding industry story (Jan. 13)

Microsoft premiered a private preview of Cloud for Retail, encompassing Microsoft Azure, Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Advertising.

Takeaways for Microsoft cloud customers and partners after the SolarWinds breach (Jan. 23)

In December 2020, federal investigators and the tech industry discovered an astonishing systems breach dating back to March and most likely launched by the Russia-backed Cozy Bear hacking group. The massive exploit targeted SolarWinds software publishing infrastructure, leading many to refer to it as the SolarWinds breach. But in fact, attackers appear to have also gained access to Microsoft customers' Azure and Office 365 credentials through vulnerabilities in Microsoft partners' systems.

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Microsoft promises partners new commerce options, a maturing industry strategy in 2021 (Feb. 11)

Microsoft announced plans to improve digital commerce in its marketplaces for ISV apps, broaden the Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) model, expand co-selling, and use industry cloud efforts to encourage more new ISV product development.

How available are Azure's Availability Zones? (Feb. 18)

Microsoft guarantees 99.99% uptime with Availability Zones and imposes no fees on data transferred within a region, but customers should continue to do their homework on Availability Zones availability and redundancy needs.

Microsoft extends industry cloud model to financial services, manufacturing, and nonprofit (Feb. 24)

Microsoft added new financial services, manufacturing, and nonprofit cloud capabilities to its existing Cloud for Retail and Cloud for Healthcare offerings.

Microsoft sees $4 trillion public cloud addressable market, but hybrid needs persist: EVP Jason Zander (March 2)

Executive vice president Jason Zander spoke on March 1 at the Morgan Stanley 2021 TMT conference, answering analysts questions about Azure's performance and outlook, from services to hardware.

Ignite 2021: Microsoft launches Azure Percept to bring AI to the edge [Ignite Round 1] (March 1)

About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at and, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Before joining, Eamon was editor for at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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