I have been watching with interest the battle for Enterprise Market share of cloud computing.  Many large and small companies are transitioning their on existing on premise IT infrastructure to use publicly managed services such as Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure platform.

The cost savings (and headaches) can be huge – no  servers to buy and replace, network architecture is simplified, and IT staffing can be reduced.

As mentioned above, Amazon and Microsoft are the two big players in this space, and while I knew Amazon had the bigger market share, I was curious how the two compare.

This article provided me some of the numbers I was looking for. Here is a brief summary:

Cloud Revenue

Company Last Quarter Revenue 2016 Est growth
Amazon 2.5 Billion 64%
Microsoft 560 Million 120%


Anecdotally, there is much more buzz amongst the people I talk to about Amazon’s AWS than Azure  – and I live in the heart of Microsoft country.  I have not talked to anybody that is using Azure, which surprises me a bit.  I know future Microsoft products are going to increase their integration of Azure into the product- for instance the database software SQL Server has some sort of feature where you can use Azure as a hot backup, or take peak demand loads, which is pretty interesting.  Given Microsoft’s current presence in most companies, maybe they can turn the tide and overtake Amazon, but so far I haven’t seen it.

One other important point from this article – most dollars added by Microsoft to Azure is likely a dollar (or more) subtracted from current licensing revenues.   For Amazon, this is all new revenue.  Also, Microsoft has to compete on price with Amazon, and Amazon has pretty deep pockets.

If the current revenue trajectory doesn’t change in the next few quarters – I worry it might be too late for Microsoft Azure to be the Enterprise platform of choice.  The old saying ‘Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM’ may soon apply to Amazon, as AWS becomes the safe and defacto standard for Enterprise IT Infrastructure.


Leave a Reply