Why are Microsoft and Amazon fighting over UK cloud space?

UK datacentres are set to open next year, courtesy of Microsoft and Amazon Web Services
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Two tech giants are going head-to-head in the race to open UK-based datacentres.

These will be springing up in late 2016, providing customers with quicker and more reliable access to data.

This, of course, will make cloud services more attractive to consumers and businesses, and give resellers and retailers more opportunities to capitalise on the growing demand for cloud services.

In early November, Amazon Web Services announced it will be opening a UK region late next year, and Microsoft followed suit just a few days later, revealing it will also open UK-based datacentres in 2016.

“The new region, coupled with the existing AWS regions in Dublin and Frankfurt, will provide customers with quick, low-latency access to websites, mobile applications, games, SaaS applications, big data analysis, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and more,” says Amazon CTO Werner Vogels.

“We’re shooting to have it ready by the end of 2016, or early 2017.”

Werner adds that more startups, small and medium businesses, large enterprises, universities and government organisations all over the world are moving to the AWS Cloud “faster than ever before”.

Similarly, at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London in November, CEO Satya Nadella announced plans for Microsoft to offer commercial cloud services from the UK.

Microsoft Azure and Office 365 will be generally available from local UK-based datacentres in late 2016, shortly followed by Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Microsoft also announced the completion of the latest phase of expansion for its datacentre facilities in Ireland and the Netherlands. All of this is part of Microsoft’s $2 billion+ investment on cloud infrastructure across Europe.

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more,” explains Satya Nadella.

“By expanding our datacentre regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland, we aim to give local businesses and organisations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth.”

Microsoft says that services delivered from these UK datacentres will “create new opportunities for innovation” and local economic growth for the company’s 25,000+ partners in the UK.

It also said its existing customers, from consumers to the likes of Pizza Hut and Glasgow City Council, will save more money, be more productive and be more secure.

“With a cloud adoption rate of 84 per cent, the UK is a global leader in embracing the benefits of cloud-based solutions. Our commitment to offer Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 from local data centres will help meet such demand, especially for those organisations looking for solutions delivered from datacentres based in the UK,” adds Michel Van der Bel, area VP and general manager of Microsoft UK.

“This will open opportunity for customers and partners alike to innovate, compete and grow their business using the power of the cloud, while adhering to strict standards and regulations like those found in banking, financial services and the public sector.”

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