Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is continuing to build on its Cloud OS strategy. The company announced several new products and services that may help the company to take the next forward with Cloud OS.

Included in the big announcement are:

  • The general availability of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), which brings the full range of System Center management to Windows Server 2012 for private and hybrid cloud.
  • Windows Intune, which integrates with System Center 2012 SP1 to provide enterprise customers with a unified solution for PC and device management
  • General availability of Windows Azure services for Windows Server, which will enable service providers to deliver high-scale website and virtual machine hosting services.
  • System Center Global Service Monitor, a Windows Azure-based service for application monitoring. It is currently available for trial. Broad availability is planned for March.

Michael Park, corporate vice president of marketing in the Server & Tools Business at Microsoft, posted a blog to provide more definition to Cloud OS. Park noted he has spent the last six months sharing the company's vision of Cloud OS, which he wrote "does what a traditional operating system does — manage applications and hardware — but at the scope and scale of cloud computing." So could we call this Windows for Cloud? Maybe that's a stretch, but operating systems is what Microsoft originally built its empire on, and now it's extending that expertise into the cloud.

Cloud OS is built on a foundation of Windows Server and Windows Azure, but it's also complemented by SQL Server, System Center and Visual Studio, Park wrote.

"Together, these technologies provide one consistent platform for infrastructure, apps and data that can span your datacenter, service provider datacenters, and the Microsoft public cloud," Park continued.

So what's the big deal? Park wrote in the blog that Cloud OS provides flexible development, unified management, integrated and portable virtualization, and a complete data platform powered by SQL. For customers, Park noted Cloud OS will enable them to more efficiently manage data center resources as a whole.

The entire Cloud OS strategy goes back to last year, when Microsoft claimed it was the first true cloud operating system. The company has taken that as a strong marketing move to further solidify its position as a cloud leader. With these new updates, Microsoft could give another boost to its cloud services and further push Windows Azure ahead.