Microsoft is continuing to expand Azure's footprint with commitments to open new datacenter regions in Germany, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
Microsoft today announced plans to deliver its Microsoft Cloud services to the region from the company's first datacenters located in the Middle East. With each data center costing upwards of a billion dollars, this isn't a small investment and considering that the company's cloud services are driving the largest growth on the balance sheet, it's obvious why the company is bringing these new regions online. Based in Redmond, Washington, "Lab 21" will help HCL develop and deploy high-impact business solutions based on the Microsoft AI platform and Azure Cloud that will help accelerate adoption and increase value creation for enterprise customers. It will also open new sites in Switzerland and will add more locations in Germany.
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Microsoft also is making Office 365 and Dynamics 365 available in more regions, offering users in-geo data residency in numerous 17 georgraphic regions in which these services are available. Amazon said in September it was planning to open a cloud-data center in Bahrain in 2019. Microsoft told CNBC that it sees "enormous opportunity" to provide cloud facilities in the Middle East and Africa. Already existing Microsoft office 365 customers will be able to opt-in to be moved to the local cloud regions in France starting from March 14th, 2018. "As Microsoft, we have been in the region for over 25 years, and we have been very committed to the vision of the country".
Amazon is the largest seller of cloud services for storing data and processing applications, with market share about four times the size of No. 2 Microsoft's.