The road to Azure Stack has not been easy, but the launch date is around the corner. Here’s a look at the key milestones over the past two years since Azure Stack was initially announced.

May 2015 Microsoft announces Azure Stack at its Ignite conference, pitching it as a way for customers to enjoy the flexibility of Azure cloud from within their own data centers. This control makes Azure Stack suitable for applications and workloads with strict compliance requirements. Microsoft plans to release Azure Stack by the end of 2016.

January 29, 2016 – Azure Stack technical preview goes live.

July 2016 – At Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto (now Microsoft Inspire), some customers were frustrated to learn that Azure Stack would only be available on hardware from three vendors: Lenovo, Dell EMC and HPE. The company said that it would limit the initial release because it wouldn’t have been feasible to do the kind of frequent updates it wants to on the platform if Azure Stack ran on hardware of each customer’s choosing.

Microsoft changes the release date of Azure Stack to mid-2017.

September 2016 - Second technical preview of Microsoft Azure Stack (TP2) goes live. TP2 adds "new foundational services (in the box), including Azure Queue storage for application messaging and Azure Key Vault for managing application secrets."

August 2016 – Customer dissent continues as some vow to quit waiting for Azure Stack and instead explore alternatives, such as OpenStack.

November 2016 - Microsoft launches preview releases of Azure PaaS services for Azure Stack TP2, which includes Azure App Service (includes Web Apps, API apps, and Mobile apps) and updated versions of SQL/ MySQL database.

July 10, 2017 – Microsoft starts taking orders for Azure Stack, giving its vendor partners access to the software to test on their systems. It also details pricing models, and releases the Azure Stack Development Kit (ADSK).

September 2017 – Expected delivery date for Azure Stack appliance from initial vendor partners Dell EMC, Lenovo and HPE.