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Fact check: Microsoft executive says Amazon is just half a competitor in the ‘hyper-scale’ cloud

Microsoft chief working officer Kevin Turner is the firm’s area basic, overseeing its worldwide gross sales, advertising and providers groups, and he usually says blunt issues about opponents that Microsoft’s CEO (beforehand Steve Ballmer and now Satya Nadella) would typically sofa in extra diplomatic phrases.

Take, for instance, Turner’s comments last week about Microsoft’s competitors with Google and Amazon in the cloud.

The chance that now we have going ahead is to proceed to leverage the unparalleled platform that now we have.  If you consider Microsoft Azure and Home windows Server and the alternative now we have there the approach I like to consider this is you actually have about two-and-a-half corporations in all of know-how from a multi-national standpoint which have hyper-scale cloud.  Google actually has a hyper-scale cloud.  And I rely Amazon as a half.  And the purpose I rely them as a half is they’re not utterly international at this level.  They usually don’t have the performance and redundancy.

Actually? Microsoft has been making a big geographic push with its data centers, however Amazon Net Providers additionally has data centers in key regions around the world.

Amazon has the largest market share in public cloud computing, powering well-known providers reminiscent of Netflix, Flipboard, Airbnb and lots of others, and it has been steadily increasing past its legacy as an Infrastructure as a Service supplier to supply a number of higher-level cloud providers.

AWS has greater than a million enterprise and governmental prospects, AWS chief Andy Jassy said at a recent conference, displaying this chart.


An in depth public cloud report by Forrester analysis final 12 months mentioned Amazon “got here out the strongest of all distributors throughout three of our 4 developer segments.”

So what is Turner basing his feedback on? Throughout his speak at the Credit score Suisse convention, he went on to clarify his reasoning: “And when you consider these two opponents now we have 19 regional knowledge facilities throughout the world. That is six instances multiple of them and two instances greater than the different. And so the means for us to deliver market main cloud applied sciences to our prospects exists as a result of now we have hyper-scale cloud.”

Right here’s a chart from a presentation by Adrian Cockcroft, a know-how fellow at Battery Ventures, which helps to present what Turner is speaking about.


We contacted Amazon, and the firm declined to reply to Turner’s feedback.

Generally, nevertheless, Amazon focuses on what it calls “availability zones” — separate knowledge facilities in remoted areas, linked to one another by quick connections inside a particular area, to keep up excessive availability of providers. Amazon has 28 availability zones throughout its 11 areas, and it may very well be argued that these 28 availability zones are what must be in comparison with Microsoft Azure’s 19 areas.

As a part of his feedback, Turner additionally famous that Microsoft isn’t just approaching the market from its legacy Home windows enterprise. “We had 400 million folks utilizing, which turned We had 300 million folks utilizing Skype and should you have a look at our providers in the cloud it’s allowed us to take part in this commodity priced storage and compute setting and improve these prospects to our value-added providers.”

After all, Amazon Net Providers is an outgrowth of Amazon’s personal expertise operating globally.

Backside line: The cloud market is extremely aggressive, as demonstrated by Turner’s aggressive zeal. Some of Microsoft’s largest strategic strikes, such as open-sourcing .NET, are designed to enhance the aggressive place of Microsoft Azure. Nadella ran Azure previous to changing into Microsoft CEO.

However for a extra even-handed evaluation, right here’s what Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, who runs the Azure enterprise, had to say on the topic in July.

“Now, finally, we predict there’s going to be three massive hyper-scale suppliers on the market in the world which might be going to have the ability to obtain any such scale footprint, principally us — Microsoft — Amazon and Google. Our plan is to distinguish from the different two by the stage of enterprise-grade help we offer you, in addition to the distinctive hybrid capabilities that allow you to ship built-in buyer options.”

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