Microsoft's massive Power Apps ambition: Is it their next $10 billion cloud business?

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It’s no secret that Microsoft has an ambitious vision for Power Apps, the low code/no code development platform that is a key element of the Power Platform. But some at the company have reportedly floated a more specific goal for Power Apps in recent weeks: to make it the company’s next $10 billion cloud solution.

Microsoft wouldn’t comment on this number, which was shared with some partners in recent weeks. A  specific slide stated, along with the financial goal, that “Power Apps will become the de facto and Global Development Platform for all Business Applications developers”.

Other channel professionals we reached out to have not heard this or any dollar value stated by Microsoft. But the broader goal for Power Apps and the Power Platform overall should be unsurprising, especially to Dynamics 365 and Power Platform professionals.

Where will growth opportunities emerge?

Putting aside the possibility of a big acquisition, the growth of Power Apps and the broader Power Platform starts with its current champions in the customer base and partner channel. They range from developers and solution architects to functional consultants to IT managers to intrepid and tech-savvy workers in other roles. While many of them work with a Dynamics product, many others do not and come from a SharePoint, Office, or other background.

The inaugural 365 Power Up event in Tampa, Florida on February 22, a day-long free event put on by MVPs and other experts, offered a glimpse into the ways in which Power Apps can grow: good development practices, use of Azure services, licensing strategy, integration with Microsoft’s first party applications, low-code app building, and more.

Many of the impressive ideas and creations showed off to the community are still at an early stage. Issues like licensing, application lifecycle management, market momentum, and a lack of trained practitioners could continue to limit growth for some time to come.

Here are some observations from the event that might speak to both the promise and challenges of the Power Platform:

Today’s licensing model: Tempting but concerning