Microsoft finally tops Amazon in web hosting as reshuffle sees more Redmond departures

By Peter Gothard
03 Mar 2014 View Comments
Satya Nadella the new CEO of Microsoft

Microsoft's cloud platforms have finally begun outstripping Amazon's, a report by internet research firm Netcraft claims.

According to Netcraft's figures, 23,400 Windows-based, web-facing computers are now running Microsoft cloud services, with only 22,600 running Amazon. This now makes Microsoft the biggest independent cloud host in the very fragmented Windows market, with a share of just over one per cent.

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Netcraft's figures show that 90 per cent of web-facing PCs it surveyed run Windows Azure. This goes beyond Windows, too, with Linux-based PCs taking the customer total up to 27,000.

While part of the win could be explained by many of Microsoft's own services - such as Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live and recently renamed consumer cloud host OneDrive - running on Azure, Netcraft points out that high profile web services are also being run for organisations such as the Sochi Olympics, Aston Martin, McDonald's and BenQ.

Netcraft believes that Microsoft still has plenty of room for expansion.

"52 per cent of Azure's web-facing computers are in the United States, 36 per cent are in Europe, and only 12 per cent are in Asia Pacific," it says, intimating that Asia Pacific, for one, could be a huge area for Microsoft to begin capitalising on.

It's an interesting point for Satya Nadella to enter the fray as Microsoft's new CEO, considering his vast experience in helping build up the Azure platform. While the numbers may be up, Nadella's clearly not taking any chances, having just announced another exec-level reshuffle, this time in the marketing department.

Saying goodbye are business development, strategy and evangelism president Tony Bates - who once led the Skype division - and exec vice president of marketing, Tami Reller.

Stepping up to the chief strategy officer role is Mark Penn, who was previously executive VP of advertising and strategy.

Described in Microsoft back-slapping exec speak as "oversee[ing] a multidisciplinary SWAT team that deals with a range of projects involving marketing, media and compete", Penn is the Mad Man behind Microsoft's ongoing "Scroogled" campaign, which tries to call out Google on its potential email scanning habits, while reminding audiences how much better Bing obviously is.

Penn's work history also includes serving as senior adviser to corporate and political leaders such as Tony Blair, Bill and Hilary Clinton, former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and... Bill Gates.

With cloud on the up and such an aggressive spin doctor on the marketing throne, Nadella could be planning a rebranding campaign to end them all. Whatever happens, anything's got to be better than this Surface advert.

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