The past couple weeks offer insight into exactly how aggressive Microsoft’s intentions are. Sure, the Xbox Series X is exciting, but one of the fastest growing segments of the tech titan’s revenue is in the cloud – Azure specifically. This week, the Ignite conference offered Microsoft the spotlight, and the Redmond-based firm is swinging for the fences with a number of exciting announcements.
On Tuesday, Microsoft launched Azure Communications Services, a shot across the collective bow of Amazon and Google, and aimed and getting the better of MessageBird in addition to Twilio.
“We see rich communication experiences – enabled by voice, video, chat, and SMS – continuing to be an integral part in how businesses connect with their customers across devices and platforms,” noted Scott Van Vliet, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for intelligent communication.
Also joining the headlines on Tuesday was the reveal of Azure Orbital to connect satellites directly to its cloud network. Viasat, Kongsberg Satellite Services, Amergint and Kratos have signed as partners to deliver the service. Microsoft is providing a number of customers early access to the service with a “private preview” to showcase its ability to support disparate and remote data centers.
In August, Microsoft earned FCC permission to complete proof-of-concept – nearly two years after the AWS Ground Station release.
Principal Product Manager at Microsoft explained in a company blog post, “The cloud is central to both modern communications scenarios for remote operations and the gathering, processing, and distributing the tremendous amounts of data from space.”
The Cloud Wars are not new, and the stakes continue to rise. Azure is an embedded fixture in the cloud services market with nearly 20 percent market share, staring up at AWS with 45 percent. Amazon holds the poll position, but with cloud demand showing no signs of slowing down the race won’t be determined until we see a checkered flag.
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