Microsoft EU cloud revisions just so happen to exclude Google, Amazon

Enlarge / Microsoft says its newest cloud licensing phrases are meant to give prospects extra flexibility and price management—just not on Amazon, Google, or Alibaba servers.

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Facing European antitrust scrutiny, Microsoft has made it simpler to virtualize its software program on non-Microsoft cloud infrastructure—just so lengthy as that infrastructure is not owned by notable opponents Amazon, Google, or Alibaba.

The battle, months within the making, is placing for a corporation that has largely averted the antitrust scrutiny of its rivals, and eagerly sought to distance itself from the anti-competitive complaints and authorities actions that beset Microsoft within the late Nineties.

Microsoft outlined the modifications that might take impact on October 1 in a weblog submit. Nicole Dezen, chief associate officer, wrote that Microsoft “believes in the value of the partner ecosystem” and altered outsourcing and internet hosting phrases that “will benefit partners and customers globally.”

New licensing phrases would make it simpler for Microsoft’s enterprise prospects to convey Microsoft software program to non-Microsoft infrastructure and scale the price and dimension of theirs or their buyer’s Microsoft programs on their very own {hardware}, in accordance to Dezen’s submit.

But Microsoft needs to be clear about one thing: Its Services Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) was meant for patrons which might be providing internet hosting “from their own data centers,” not shopping for Microsoft licenses to “host on others’ data centers.” To “strengthen the hoster ecosystem,” Dezen writes, Microsoft will take away the power to outsource to Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft’s Azure cloud,  or anyone utilizing these corporations as a part of their internet hosting.

Amazon and Google have weighed in, and they don’t consider Microsoft is displaying its newer, much less anti-competitive facet.


“Microsoft is now doubling down on the same harmful practices by implementing even more restrictions in an unfair attempt to limit the competition it faces—rather than listening to its customers and restoring fair software licensing in the cloud for everyone,” an Amazon spokesperson instructed Reuters.

Marcus Jadotte, vp for presidency affairs and coverage at Google Cloud, tweeted, “The promise of the cloud is flexible, elastic computing without contractual lock-ins.” Customers ought to have the liberty to transfer and select what’s finest for them, “rather than what works for Microsoft,” Jadotte wrote.

Microsoft describes its upcoming license modifications as coming “in response to partner feedback,” neglecting to point out the licensing modifications it made earlier that drew EU antitrust scrutiny. Changes to Microsoft’s licensing phrases in October 2019 raised the value of operating Microsoft companies on non-Microsoft “hyperscale” infrastructure. Microsoft’s Azure supplier was included within the higher-price listing, however prospects would usually obtain a separate low cost that offset a lot of the rise.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes that many purchasers did not discover the value hikes till their licenses got here up for renewal, lots of them this 12 months.

Responding to EU inquiries in May, Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote on Microsoft’s EU Policy Blog that “while not all of these claims are valid, some of them are, and we’ll absolutely make changes soon to address them.” The modifications Smith outlined had been geared toward “European Cloud Providers,” comparable to OVHcloud, which had contacted the EU relating to Microsoft’s licensing. In different phrases, small to mid-size suppliers, not the opposite corporations Microsoft competes with for 65 % of the worldwide cloud.

The European Commission continues its inquiry into Microsoft’s enterprise practices. CISPE, a European cloud supplier group, which incorporates Amazon as one among its members, instructed Bloomberg in a press release this week that Microsoft’s new system “not only fails to show any progress in addressing Microsoft’s anti-competitivee behavior but may add new dependencies that further lock in customers and arbitrarily exclude cloud infrastructure providers.”


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