How Microsoft and IBM Get Ahead of Amazon: Cloud is the Future

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Satya Nadella, Microsoft Corp chief executive, attends the unveil event of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in New York
Satya Nadella, Microsoft Corp chief executive, attends the unveil event of the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in New York in this file photo taken May 20, 2014. Nadella committed to develop its Xbox gaming platform in a letter to company employees, quashing rumors that the unit might be spun off.

For years, Amazon.com has been the uncontested leader in the Cloud infrastructure.  While this has become an extremely valuable asset in the strengthening of Amazon, reports suggest that there are two major players aggressively trying to surge ahead of Amazon.  These two companies are Microsoft and IBM.  

Online infrastructure service is fast becoming an extremely profitable 'real estate' so to speak.  The market supposedly garners around $13 billion annually according to Forbes.  As of the second quarter of 2014, Microsoft and IBM are said to be leading in terms of growth. Synergy Research Group has reported that the cloud infrastructure service seemingly grew by at least 45%. 

As with any company who definitively wants to increase its market share, IBM has adamantly been pressing forward with its offering of Softlayer.  In addition, they have expanded by putting out 40 cloud centers globally.  IBM has shelled out $1 million in a business unit called Watson.  Watson, which is primarily running on Softlayer, poured in another billion US dollars to make a cloud PaaS, to assist numerous developers in creating various cloud applications, which can run on Softlayer. 

Microsoft, on the other hand, is trying its best to pull away from other operators by aggressively chasing Amazon's numbers.  Microsoft has consumer credibility.  Their target audience is well aware of their presence due to outstanding marketing efforts being promulgated. 

To state the obvious, a heated but exciting competition is brewing in the cloud infrastructure industry.  Whether the topic is on private or hybrid clouds, competition is stiff.  Open-source players like Eucalyptus and OpenStack, who are practically small but active players, have not even been included as part of the race.  In any case, competition is always welcome.  The more extreme the competition becomes, the better for the consuming public.  In this fast-paced world, the existence of infrastructure that can help business and innovation is always a blessing.  It does not really matter whether the vendor is IBM, Microsoft, Amazon or any other company.

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