Microsoft Corp.’s pitch to Brussels directly addressed competition worries with a clear geopolitical purpose prompted by recent complaints from smaller European cloud companies, the Financial Times reports.
Microsoft laid out a series of “principles” that it would follow out of respect for Europe’s concerns.
Any customer who has paid to license Windows or Office under Microsoft’s standard Software Assurance license will not have to pay extra as long as they used a European cloud company.
The furor stems from changes Microsoft made to its licensing practices three years ago to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in the cloud computing market.
The 2019 changes made Office and Windows customers’ cloud migration more expensive with rival cloud companies than Microsoft’s Azure service, helping it win market share from Amazon even at the cost of smaller cloud companies.
However, Microsoft’s pitch seemed like an attempt to turn Europe’s cloud companies into resellers for Microsoft’s software, making it hard for more minor participants to present real competition.
Europe remains vulnerable to the domination of its IT technology by a handful of U.S. cloud computing giants and one or two Chinese companies leading to a cloud oligopoly.
By Anusuya Lahiri
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