Cloud Wars: Why Amazon is escalating its battle against Microsoft in enterprise tech

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy, projected on screen at AWS re:Invent this week, discusses Amazon’s 47.8 percent cloud market share against Microsoft, Alibaba, Google, IBM and others. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

The leaders of Amazon’s cloud division made a few things clear this week at the Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference in Las Vegas:

  • AWS has broad ambitions in the $3.7 trillion enterprise tech market, looking for growth well beyond the current cloud sector. The company is urging more companies to move their computing to the cloud, at the same time it’s developing hybrid technologies to run cloud technologies on premises.
  • Amazon believes Microsoft is working against the interests of its customers by implementing new licensing restrictions on Microsoft operating systems and databases, limiting the ways its software can be used on AWS and other cloud platforms.
  • AWS doesn’t believe it’s possible that it could have lost the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft purely on the merits of their  respective technologies. This is why Amazon is formally challenging the bidding process.

It all adds up to escalating competition between the Seattle-area tech giants, not just between AWS and Microsoft Azure in the cloud but also between AWS and Microsoft in the larger enterprise technology market, which is the bread and butter of Microsoft’s business.

That’s our first topic on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast. Also on the show, we discuss what 60 Minutes missed in its report on tech and Seattle’s homelessness crisis; explain why the first official Craigslist app is a mixed blessing; and reveal the answer to our Name that Tech Tune challenge.

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