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Microsoft Pledges to Match Amazon Prices on Cloud Computing

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), which is releasing new cloud-computing services today, said it will match Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s lowest prices for competing products as it seeks to win business in a growing market.

Microsoft is rolling out Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, which will let customers run existing applications on servers and storage machines in Microsoft data centers, after more than nine months of testing. The company also committed to match market leader Amazon on prices for computing and storage services, even if Amazon cuts rates, said Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure Business Strategy.

Seventy-one percent of respondents in a Forrester Research Inc. (FORR) survey said they used Amazon Web Services for cloud computing, compared with about 10 percent each for Microsoft, Google Inc. (GOOG) and other vendors. Revenue from public cloud services, which let customers run applications in an outside vendor’s data center and access them via the Internet, jumped 20 percent last year to $109 billion, Gartner Inc. estimates.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has more than 200,000 customers for its Azure cloud products, and 1,000 new ones sign up daily, Martin said in an interview.

Microsoft rose 1 percent to $28.97 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 8.5 percent this year, compared with a 10 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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