Microsoft builds data centers in UK, Amazon plans to do the same


After revealing its plan to build data centers in the UK back in November 2015, Microsoft finally powered up its UK-based cloud services. Microsoft new data centers, which are expected to help US-based companies to better sell their online services overseas, are located in three cities within the UK:  London, Durham and Cardiff.

Chief information officer at the Ministry of Defense Mike Stone, said for BBC that he “first approached Microsoft with the idea of opening local facilities two years ago,” when according to Stone, the Ministry of Defense was still using old software that hadn’t been updated since 2003.

“I took the view that the services we were providing were unfit for purpose. The idea is to provide a different capability that fully exploits the power of the cloud and mobility. We can now work on documents collaboratively and understand more about the ways we are working - we will be able to see how much time teams are spending in meetings, on email and on the phone,” Stone said for BBC.

In the meantime, Amazon Web Services plans to soon do the same as the company also announced its plan last year as well. It is not known yet when AWS will open its UK-based data centers and we have yet to see how Microsoft and AWS will compete against each other. According to BBC, even though Amazon doesn’t offer something similar to Microsoft’s to Office 365, “its AWS cloud computing division remains more popular than Azure.”

According to Synergy Research Group, new data showed that between April to June 2016, AWS accounted 31% worldwide market share while Microsoft accounted for about 11%.

Microsoft Build 2016 conference took place from March 30 – April 1, 2016 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA where the company presented its future plans and what the company’s 2016 goals.

“Microsoft wants its tools for developers to be what Office is for knowledge workers. They want to be the No. 1 tool chain for cross-platform development, mobile, cloud ... everything,” according to Al Hilwa, IDC Seattle research program director. “[That's] a tall order, but they're executing on it and building a multiplatform ecosystem," he said for the E-Commerce Times.

Furthermore, Microsoft started shipping its HoloLens’ development kits from March 30, 2016. Windows 10 is the first platform to support the holographic computing with APIs that enable gaze, gesture, voice, as well as environmental understanding. With various partnerships including Volvo, Autodesk Fusion 360, NASA, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Clinic, Microsoft has been doing their part by making sure they have all the support they need in order to make the virtual technology a reality.


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