Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will bang the drum for its Cloud OS initiative on January 15. The software giant plans to discuss new management products and services that "deliver against Microsoft's Cloud OS vision."

When Windows Server 2012 launched in Sept. 2012, Microsoft claimed it was the first true cloud operating system. The company's Hyper-V hypervisor, System Center management tools, and Windows Azure public cloud also play into the cloud OS strategy -- which faces stiff competition from established Linux offerings and emerging open source platforms like OpenStack and CloudStack. 

On January 15, at least two Microsoft executives will update the company's cloud OS strategy. Both Michael Park, corporate VP of STB marketing and Mike Schutz, general manager of STB product marketing, will be on hand for the virtual press briefing, according to a media invite. Microsoft has also promised to have Cloud OS customers on hand to share their perspectives.

Frankly, I've been impressed with Microsoft's cloud software strategy. A recent Forrester Research report suggests Windows Azure is coming on strong -- though Amazon Web Services remains the runaway market leader. Also, Windows Server 2012 has generated favorable feedback from partners and customers since the upgrade's 2012 launch.

What's next? The answer arrives January 15.