This is a first of a 3 part "Journey with Azure" series. Expect more in the future as I play around with Azure.
I decided to play around with azure after building a side project on top of Google Cloud by using App Engine and Google Data Store. I had even tinkered around with the AWS interface in the past, but Azure was something I had zero idea on. So from a catch-up perspective, I decided to watch the Technology Keynote: Microsoft Azure: Build 2018. That is where I first saw the Azure interface, which at first thought looked bad to me, So many things on one screen. They also used the word "blade" in the keynote, which I would hear of again at multiple places. Over time I have come to like the Portal. For a start, the search feels more useful as it shows more than just services that are available. I have also come to like the blades mechanism, it is faster to browse between your services, you know where you are and can easily switch between services. The Blades mechanism shines for services like Storage accounts, which has multiple services like Queues, Tables and Blobs.
The design makes for very long URLs on the portals side. On the google cloud side, I can go to my Datastore using the following URL: console.cloud.google.com/datastore, I can't do something similar on the Azure side. Anyway, I think it is a pet peeve of sorts and might not be super critical for everyone. Another pet peeve is the portal has issues on Safari, which I use as my Primary browser, thus once in a while, I need to use Firefox.
Another thing I love is the new docs at docs.microsoft.com, Microsoft still has its documentation spread around, once in a while you get thrown around to other docs sites, which gives you a discussed feeling, I hope all docs move the docs.microsoft.com in due time :)