AWS Targets Microsoft Over Anti-Competitive Cloud Licensing Practices

Matt Garman, vice president of sales and marketing at AWS, takes aim at Microsoft’s practices of charging more to license its software when it runs in rival clouds.

“Customers and policymakers around the world increasingly see Microsoft’s recent licensing rhetoric as a troubling admission of the same anti-competitive tactics that many companies have been raising with them for years, but which have gone unheeded until now. ‘to be submitted to the European Commission’writes in the preamble the leader of AWS in a message published on LinkedIn.

We remember that last May, after being the target of a complaint from OVHcloud and Nexcloud for anti-competitive practices, Microsoft had undertaken to review and simplify its licenses in Europe to help cloud providers host its solutions and customers to use their licenses with other vendors, just like they do in Azure.

According to Matt Garman, the path followed is quite different: “Under the pretext of meeting European technological needs, Microsoft proposes to select cloud providers that give it less competition [que les autres géants du cloud] and to allow its software to run only on these providers”.

It’s not fairness in licensing and it’s not what customers want,” he adds. “We continue to hear from customers around the world that Microsoft’s discriminatory licensing practices are costing them millions of dollars and demanding the freedom to work with whomever they choose. »

Matt Garman accompanies his message with a link to a column by Steve Weber, professor at Berkeley, who pleads for more regulation of the cloud. According to Weber Microsoft’s concessions in Europe are a step in the right direction but still insufficient.

“As long as Google Cloud and Amazon AWS customers are still disadvantaged by Microsoft’s enterprise software pricing system, most European customers will have to continue to absorb higher prices for certain important enterprise applications if they choose not to “switch” to a bundle running in Azure”he says.

Microsoft, for its part, highlights the savings that integration allows its customers. “To name just two examples, it’s up to 80% less expensive to run Windows Server VMs on Azure and SQL Server VMs on Azure than with our main competitor”, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella argued at the Inspire conference. He also cited savings of 60% with the Microsoft 365 suite and 80% with the Power Platform business process automation platform compared to other competitors.

“Regulators in the United States and Europe have long opposed this consolidation strategy for operating systems and web browsers”, recalls Steve Weber. And to conclude: “Do we really want to wait for the same type of problem to further impede the development of competition and innovation in the cloud? »

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