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August 31, 2022updated 23 Sep 2022 10:11am

AWS and Google Cloud hit out at Microsoft’s cloud licensing changes

Amazon and Google say changes Microsoft is planning will restrict competition in the cloud market.

By Matthew Gooding

Hyperscale cloud providers Amazon AWS and Google Cloud have hit out at changes Microsoft is making to the licenses of its products, saying they will limit customer choice and increase vendor lock-in.

Microsoft is in the crosshairs of the other cloud hyperscalers (Photo by Michael Vi/iStock)

As reported by Tech Monitor, Microsoft is changing the way its products are licensed in Europe after European cloud providers complained that the tech giant’s current terms and conditions are anti-competitive.

Microsoft will introduce new licenses from October 1 in a bid to stave off a full antitrust investigation from the European Union.

How will Microsoft cloud licenses change?

Under changes to Microsoft product licenses in Europe, being introduced in October, there will only be an additional charge for running Microsoft productivity software, including the Office 365 suite, on AWS, Google Cloud and Chinese provider Alibaba Cloud.

Since 2019, the charge has applied to all third party cloud providers, which led to smaller European providers filing a complaint to the European Commission earlier this year, stating that they believe Microsoft’s behaviour to be anti-competitive and that it was making them unwitting victims in the battle between the hyperscalers for control of the cloud market.

Microsoft first announced the changes in May following a series of meetings with European cloud companies.

AWS and Google Cloud react to Microsoft licensing changes

Unsurprisingly, AWS and Google Cloud are not pleased with the upcoming change.

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A spokesman for AWS, the public cloud market leader, said: “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.”

Meanwhile, Google Cloud’s vice president for public affairs and policy, Marcus Jadotte, took to Twitter to react to the news.

“Customers should be able to move freely across platforms and choose the technology that works best for them, rather than what works best for Microsoft,” he wrote, urging cloud providers to “compete on the merits of their technologies”.

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Read more: Why European tech firms are partnering with the cloud hyperscalers

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