From firmly stamping its presence as one of the first big corporations to pay attention to the bitcoin and block chain arena, Microsoft has now struck a partnership with an Ethereum-based startup to deliver blockchain as an enterprise solution for clients of the software giant’s cloud-based Azure service.
BlockApps Strato, a toolkit used for developing Ethereum-based applications will be among the first offerings from the partnership that Azure clients will be able to access. BlockApps is essentially a private blockchain sandbox where developers can tinker and experiment with their applications before releasing it into the Ethereum blockchain or elsewhere for usage.
A second blockchain explorer tool called Ether.Camp, along with BlockApps Strato will enable businesses on Azure to start developing their own blockchain-based applications, plausibly at a fraction of the costs faced by independent developers elsewhere. Potential applications include cross-border payments, corporate accounting with increased transparency, securities trading, run self-executing smart contracts and more.
After being chosen by ConsenSys to form the collaboration, Microsoft’s Director of Technology Strategy Marley Gray said in a joint press release:
Microsoft is excited to team up with ConsenSys for in Azure’s lead offering of Ethereum Blockchain-as-a-Service. Our enterprise clients will have the ability to deploy private and semi-private or consortium blockchain networks, as well as public Ethereum nodes with a single click on Azure.
The tools will be owned by ConsenSys, a software production studio comprising of a group of Ethereum-enthusiast coders and originally founded by Joseph Lubin, who also co-founded the Ethereum foundation along with Vitalik Buterin. The Brooklyn-based collective is made up of 60 full-time developers working in the space with 30 consultants working from all over the world.
Microsoft was and is arguably still is the largest company to commercially offer bitcoin as a payment method to consumers. The company has frequently shown interest in blockchain technology in the past, and a service like the Ethereum-blockchain offering to its users on its popular Azure platform has been a long time coming. The Redmond giant is experiencing a steady renaissance with shares climbing toward their highest ever rates since the bubble burst some 15 years ago. With a market capital of over $430 billion, Microsoft is the third largest company in the U.S. after Apple and Google.
The rates for the E BaaS service along with other essential information and features, as well as the tools themselves are expected to be revealed at the DEVCON (Ethereum Developer Conference) in London on November 10th.