Many people believe that Microsoft is the follower to compete with Amazon. In fact, Microsoft had a cloud platform in the mid-2000s, but until 2010, Azure was officially introduced.
For Microsoft, the appearance of AWS directly affects their revenue. If customers switch to using Amazon’s cloud services, they will not need upgrading versions in Microsoft’s software package such as Microsoft Server, SQL Server, the products which are mostly used in the data centers and have brought billions of revenue for the company.
Microsoft has turned weakness into strength. Cloud computing is now one of the most powerful factors boosting its revenue. Despite starting later compared to Amazon, Microsoft has its own advantages and weapons. With experience in the software package for data centers, when launching Azure in 2010, Microsoft gave customers a layer service platform, PaaS, helping software developers to build their applications more easily. Then, Microsoft began to expand into providing services for server and storage like Amazon.
Being the leader of Microsoft’s infrastructure business service, Satya Nadella have navigated the transformation of Azure, and he was selected for the position of CEO in 2014 thanks in part to that success. Now, Azure is in Microsoft’s top priority, closely tied to other products.
The difference of Azure is not entirely on the technology but based more on familiarity with customers. Azure is optimized for building applications on .NET platform – the standard for programming on Windows for 15 years before, so businesses can move their applications to the cloud more easily than AWS.
Besides, another advantage of Microsoft when entering this market is that many large customers have signed long-term contracts in order to enjoy preferential prices for their packages. Therefore, Microsoft can use these contracts as an incentive to encourage businesses to use Azure.
Additionally, Nadella has gotten rid of Microsoft’s pride in the past to start testing the technologies that had been abandoned on Azure, in which the most notable is Linux operating system, which former CEO Steve Ballmer once called “cancer”.
Currently, Azure still goes behind compared to AWS. Clearly, the advantage of Amazon as the leader is undeniable. Despite not being able to surpass Amazon, Microsoft also has some positive signals when the total revenue from cloud, including Azure and Office 365 reached $ 6.3 billion in 2015, and Gartner believed that Azure had faster developments than AWS. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella was very confident that cloud computing would be just a two-horse race between Amazon and Microsoft.