Microsoft’s Azure Is Starting to Close the Gap With Amazon’s Cloud Service

Almost half of Azure’s customers are startups and software vendors
Illustration by 731

Last year software maker K2.com stopped relying on Amazon.com for its cloud services and turned to Microsoft instead. K2 Chief Executive Officer Adriaan van Wyk says he’s happy with the choice—most of the time. The developer tools of Microsoft’s Azure cloud service are superior, he says, and he likes its personalized customer service. Yet occasionally Azure is slow, and on Nov. 18 it suffered a global outage that lasted several hours. As insurance, Van Wyk has moved 5 percent of his business back to Amazon Web Services. “We still like Microsoft,” he says. “At the same time, it’s been a bit bumpy. The 5 percent makes sure if we have to move back to AWS we can do it quickly.”

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