Microsoft (MSFT) Cloud Computing Platform Continues To Gain On Amazon And Google

Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, continues to grow at a brisk pace and gaining customers more than Amazon.com (AMZN) and Google (GOOG), a survey of CIOs by the research firm Pacific Crest Securities has found.

The firm asked CIOs of more than 150 companies to list the services on which they intend to increase spending in the coming year. Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 for business beat both Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. Microsoft was also the second most preferred supplier for public and private cloud services behind VMware (VMW).

[via Recode]”For the survey, Pacific Crest checked in with CIOs at 152 companies with 1,000 or more employees — most of them with over 5,000 employees. That at least partially explains the overall strength for Microsoft: Big as it is, Amazon’s AWS tends to be more popular with earlier-stage (and therefore smaller) companies.

One thing that large enterprises tend to like, writes Pacific Crest’s Brendan Barnicle, is that Microsoft’s cloud tends to work nicely with their existing Active Director infrastructure, the system they use to sign into older Microsoft products like Exchange. They also like it because they get access to a lot of Microsoft products that they couldn’t get from a standard installation of Microsoft Office.”

Scott Guthrie, executive VP of the Microsoft (MSFT) Cloud and Enterprise group, stated at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. last month that “more than 57 percent of the Fortune 500 companies” were running on Azure. There are “more than 300,000 publicly facing Web sites on Azure,” he claimed.

Microsoft’s commercial cloud offerings is projected to bring $4.4 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2015 if the number of subscribers stays the same.This would put the software giant $3 billion behind IBM’s cloud business. According to a new research from the Synergy Research Group, Microsoft and the Big Blue (IBM) have gained market share over the last four quarters, while the share of AWS and Google are unchanged from a year ago.

MSFT closed at $43.20 on Friday.

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