back to article So what's Microsoft's counter-AWS cloud strategy? Don't be evil

A Microsoft VP has optimistically opined that Amazon's expansion will help Microsoft nibble a little harder at the ankles of the world’s top public cloud firm. Judson Althoff, exec veep of all things "worldwide commercial business", told a tech investors' conference call that Microsoft feels "very, very good" about the …

  1. Locky Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Microsoft's counter-Amazon strategy...

    "is to play up its trustworthiness credentials"

    I'm sorry, have I been redirected to The Onion?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft's counter-Amazon strategy...

      Do the CDN links go to univision.com?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft's counter-Amazon strategy...

      "A recent Gartner report on the IaaS global market pegged Amazon's share at more than 50 per cent, with Microsoft in second place – at 13 per cent."

      Worth mentioning that Microsoft is ahead of AWS in PaaS though, and also has significant cloud income from O365, Xbox Live, Dynamics, etc and it's growing much faster in cloud than AWS.

      Cloud is also not yet embedded in many companies, and almost twice as many CTOs plan to use Azure as do AWS.

      1. Steve_Jobs1974

        Re: Microsoft's counter-Amazon strategy...

        " Growing much faster in cloud than AWS."

        According to Gartner Cloud Revenue for 2017

        AWS - 12,221 Billion growing at 50%

        Azure - 3,130 Billion Growing at 98%

        1. John Doe 6

          Re: Microsoft's counter-Amazon strategy...

          Yes, and according to Gartner all smartphones would have been Windows Phone by now...

  2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    It's kind of strange that a company with a history of aggressive competition uses an allegation that a competitor misuses confidential information for the purposes of aggressively competing with their business rivals by promising that they won't do exactly the same thing...

    I mean, it does make me wonder if anyone really believes that Amazon are mining AWS looking for businesses to compete against and yet also believe that Microsoft aren't doing the same?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've heard the phrase "New Microsoft" being thrown about a lot.

      Yeh right, as if.

      1. Avatar of They
        WTF?

        MS talking over reality again.

        I would believe Microsoft if Windows 10 hadn't happened. With the telemetry and blatant data theft.

        But it has, so I won't.

        Then again I am also of the generation that remember all the anti competitor work of the 90's and naughties.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      If I was in business as a handbag designer for example, then no, I don't think Microsoft would be interested in competing with me, but Amazon might well be.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's an idea...

    Get Azure sorted out once and for all. No more outages EVER...

    Now that is not too difficult to understand not is it?

    If people/companies are going stump up the readies to use Azure then they want to use it not, sit twiddling their thumbs while you decide if it is worth getting out of bed for or not.

    My former employer has been bitten a few times by your Cloud services going AWOL.

    My current company can't use Cloud for anything for security reasons. Bliss.

    1. Velv Silver badge

      Re: Here's an idea...

      My current company can't use Cloud for anything for security reasons. Bliss.

      Sorry, but that’s a popular misconception controlled by a “policy” perpetuated by people who don’t understand what is available in the “cloud”.

      Money talks, policies change. Like it or not cloud is maturing, and there is no industry or data that cannot use external services. I’m not suggesting it’s as simple as just “chucking everything into AWS”. But given recent examples of data breaches, where data is hosted (internally or externally) is less relevant than the correct application of controls around accessing it.

      True, owning the data centre adds one layer of access control. But security is about multiple layers, multiple controls, all of which can be provided as part of your external hosting.

      I know there will be people who disagree with this. I was one of them until I started doing research. Even governments have cleared the way for even the most sensitive of data to be handled leveraging cloud. They changed the policy.

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Boffin

      no more outages ever?

      How many 9's is that and how do you design for it?

      I'm as anti MS as anyone but I don't think their cloud goes down because they mean it to, or know how to stop it from doing that, anymore than AWS plan for S3 regions to fail from time to time. Cloud availability is similar to any other operational resilience/disaster recover planning just the disasters are different and affect every tenant so you don't get a chance to yell at the provider about how it's hurting you.

      As next comment says, you can design in security and availability to very high levels just maybe you need to go multi-cloud and retain some services on prem too.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: no more outages ever?

        I worked at G as an SRE. There are a LOT of things that are just head-shaking about these outages.

        Like Microsoft going down due to electrical storms that seem to have affected approximately 0% of operations in the region of other companies.

        Like Amazon configuring S3 with S3 without having the golden files elsewhere & with tested failover.

        The big problem with configuration as code is that way, way too much code in the world sucks hard. In general, though, it's not the programmers per se. It is the ugly business processes that can make decent code impossible. These bad business processes are being exposed as outages. To err is human. To really screw things up, you need a computer. Thus it has always been, and we are now moving a lot of infrastructure maintenance to computers.

        We have a lot of growing up to do as an industry.

  4. JohnFen Silver badge

    Microsoft not being evil?

    Pull the other one. Evil is baked into Microsoft's very DNA.

    1. SVV Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft not being evil?

      They're going for the exact opposite strategy with their service blackouts. Don't Be Live.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Play up its trustworthiness credentials' - WTF??? - 'Evil' or just 'Schizophrenic'...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A + B <> C

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A:

    "Microsoft Chairman Thompson expressed distaste for companies whose ad-financed businesses share or sell user data, while declining to comment on Facebook Inc. specifically. “Many of them make money off Ads and they have used that (user data) as kind of a leverage point,” he said “At Microsoft, we don’t believe in that.” Microsoft Corp. Chairman John Thompson

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-30/if-microsoft-finds-another-linkedin-deal-chairman-is-all-in

    ----------------------------

    B:

    "Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella: It's important for tech companies to “self-police” or build the tools that create transparency, make sure that people's privacy is protected.” - "Nadella spoke forcefully in favor of .... the privacy of customer data."

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-28/microsoft-ceo-urges-tech-to-focus-on-self-policing-not-regulation-fears

    ----------------------------

    C:

    ....."When we talk about why we're upgrading the Windows 10 install base, why is that upgrade free? MS CFO asked during a meeting with Wall Street analysts. These are all new monetization opportunities once a PC is sold. Microsoft's strategy is to go low on consumer Windows licenses, hoping that that will boost device sales, which will in turn add to the pool of potential customers for 'Advertising'".....

    ....."CEO Nadella has referred to the customer revenue potential as 'lifetime value' in the past -- and did so again last week during the same meeting with Wall Street -- hinting at Microsoft's strategy to make more on the back end of the PC acquisition process. The more customers, the more money those customers will bring in as they view 'Ads'".....

    https://www.computerworld.com/article/2917799/microsoft-windows/microsoft-fleshes-out-windows-as-a-service-revenue-strategy.html

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    What you mean like selling your own Microsoft branded Surface hardware and thus competing against the system builders who by Windows 10 licenses?

  7. phuzz Silver badge

    I guess I can see where they're coming from, if your business is in, say, retail, then no, Microsoft is not directly competing with you.

    On the other hand they sell or produce software of pretty much every form and function (operating systems, games, CRM, databases, VoIP, spreadsheets, IDEs), and quite a range of hardware (Xbox, Surface, mice, keyboards, maybe still phones?). So really, there's a good chance that they are already competing with our hypothetical business.

    Still, I'd be less worried by MS than Amazon. Amazon will do their best to put you out of business by undercutting your entire market. If MS see you as a threat they'll buy you up and can your product.

    I know which I'd prefer.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Our retail customers made us ditch AWS. They're happy with Azure.

    Despite my previous prejudice I have to say overall I now prefer Azure.

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