Adding up the figures that Microsoft has published on its quarterly earnings throughout the year 2020, everything points to the fact that its revenue from its cloud services has doubled the revenue of Amazon and Google combined. The figure is surprising, although it is worth noting that there are important nuances to this disparity in figures.
According to official data, Microsoft would have managed to achieve cloud revenues over the past year amounting to $59.9 billion, adding the figures reported in the various quarters and after learning that in the last three months of the year it achieved $16.7 billion, after a growth of 34% compared to the same period of 2019. Azure was the Microsoft product that grew the most in the last quarter of 2020.
For its part, Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s division aimed at its cloud services achieved nearly $45.4 billion in revenue over the past year. Google, which was the third highest revenue earner in cloud services, was left with $13 billion in annual revenue.
Now, with these figures, it has to be said that AWS is still the brand with the largest market share. So how do you explain Microsoft’s figures? Because the Redmond company isn’t just reflecting sales of its Azure services. In fact, the same press release where it shows its fourth quarter results, the company explains that “accelerating demand for our differentiated offerings drove commercial cloud revenue.” Microsoft also has, for example, the OneDrive service.
With that, it should be remarked that when we talk about the comparison we are not comparing Azure with AWS, the flagship cloud services for developers. In mid-2006, Amazon launched AWS, its cloud platform for developers.
At that time, the company was already a successful e-commerce website and had learned a lot about the infrastructure of Internet services, but no one imagined that it would become one of the benchmarks of cloud computing, surpassing technological giants of the time such as IBM and Oracle, both with decades of experience behind them.
Today, Amazon dominates the cloud services market, followed by Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud. Since Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft, the company has put a lot of muscle into its cloud and cloud PaaS and SaaS.
In 2020, the fact that the pandemic drove millions of people to be confined, working remotely more than ever, communicating online and playing games over the Internet, drove cloud infrastructure. In fact, figures from Canalys estimate that global spending on cloud infrastructure last fiscal year totaled $142 billion, up 33% over 2019.
Probably the big point in Azure’s favor for some time now is that many companies work with Windows and have the entire Microsoft software ecosystem at the ready. The near ubiquitous inclusion of Azure makes it easy for any Microsoft service to be used on Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure without much friction.