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Microsoft’s cloud computing changes stir up a storm

Microsofts recent changes to its cloud contracts arent heading down well with othertech behemoths.

Microsoft has made a decision to amend the terms of its licensing deals, rendering it easier for customers to perform Microsoft software on cloud platforms beyond its Azure. In accordance with Microsoft, the changes will enable new scenarios for how they are able to license and run workloads with infrastructure outsourcers and so are due to get into effect starting Oct. 1.

The brand new flexible virtualization benefits, which are designed to benefit smaller EU-based cloud providers, exclude certain listed providers such as for example Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft itself.

Amazon and Googles parent company, Alphabet, criticized Microsofts cloud computing changes, saying they limit competition and discourage customers from switching to rival cloud providers, Reuters reported.

But Microsoft likely doesnt care what its rivals thinkthe plans try to make an impression on EU antitrust regulators. They’re yet to react.

Brief history

On Feb. 1, 2010, when Microsoft launched Azure, it had been on the list of trailblazers in the sector. Amazon Web Services (AWS) debuted much later in 2006, and Google Clouds in 2008.

While 95% of Fortune 500 companies use Azure, maintaining a stronghold hasnt been possible for the service. AWS has quickly climbed to the very best of the chart.

Complicating matters further, Microsoft has been hit with a litany of complaints in Europe. In 2019, EU antitrust regulators launched a probe in to the Washington-based firm after several smaller European competitors complained that Microsofts licensing terms managed to get prohibitively more costly to perform Microsoft software such as for example Office on cloud platforms apart from its Azure.

Microsofts move is intended to appease these critics, but drew ires from other tech giants.


The promise of the cloud is flexible, elastic computing without contractual lock-ins. Customers will be able to move freely across platforms and pick the technology that is most effective for them, instead of what realy works best for Microsoft. At Google Cloud, we think that openness matters, and we continue steadily to gain customers trust by promoting the security, cost, and great things about using multiple cloud providers. We urge all cloud providers in order to avoid locking within their customers and compete on the merits of these technologies.Marcus Jadotte, vice president of government affairs & policy at Google Cloud

By the digits

1.6 billion ($1.6 billion): Just how much Microsoft has been fined by EU antitrust regulators during the last decade

32, 19, and 7: The cloud market share commanded by AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud respectively

715 million: Microsoft Azure users globally (by 2017)

200: Microsoft Azure products

Fun fact

The Microsoft Cloud is connected by enough fiber to stretch to the moon and back 3 x.

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