Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Google continue to compete fiercely in the area of cloud services for consumers, developers and enterprises, and today Microsoft made its latest moves to lay out its bid to lead the race, while also launching a new mission to position itself as the cloud provider you can trust.
Microsoft announced it would build its first Azure data center in France this year, as part of a $3 billion investment that it has made to build its cloud services in Europe. At the same time, the company also launched a new publication, Cloud for Global Good, with no fewer than 78 public policy recommendations in 15 categories like data protection and accessibility issues.
The new expansion, investment and “trust” initiative were revealed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who was speaking at an event in Dublin, Ireland. He said that the expansion would mean that Microsoft covers “more regions than any other cloud provider… In the last year the capacity has more than doubled.”
As a measure of how Microsoft and Amazon are intent on levelling each other on service availability right now, the news of the French data center comes one month after Amazon announced that it would also be building a data center in France.
Nadella, of course, did not mention AWS by name but that is the big elephant in the room for Microsoft. Nadella said today that Microsoft has data centers covering 30 regions across the globe, “more regions than any other cloud provider,” with the European footprint including Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.
In Germany, its data center is operated by Deutsche Telekom on Microsoft’s behalf in atrustee model, a move made both for “digital sovereignty and compliance,” Nadella said, “and a real world understanding of what the customer needs.”
The popularity of cloud-based storage and services has grown exponentially in the last several years, fuelled by the rise of smartphones and tablets that rely on cloud-based architectures to run apps; as well as a rise of other consumer and enterprise services that have also taken a remote storage and processing approach to deliver software more efficiently.
While Microsoft may have lost to companies like Google/Android and Apple when it came to building a mobile platform or phone that is widely used by the mass market, it’s hoping that its presence in cloud services will give it a place at the table for computing in the future.
“We have a very particular point of view by what we mean by mobile first and cloud first,” Nadella said today “It’s about the mobility of your experience across all devices in your life [and] the way to achieve that mobility … those experiences… is only possible because of the cloud.”
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