The future is Microsoft?

Did anyone read this article? The Future of Cloud is Microsoft's to Lose - Last Week in AWS

I have to admit as an AWS fan, this sorta made me shudder. He’s got a great point that since Microsoft owns Github that if they put in an easy button to publish code to Azure, that could seriously hurt AWS’ business.


I laughed really hard with this part:

They (Google) also clearly have a better integration story than AWS does since Google teams are apparently allowed to speak to one another in the company cafeteria.

Something else that belongs to Microsoft that he didn’t mention, and to me, it’s a greater tool than VS Code, is NPM. It is, for those unaware, the de facto Node packages repository (think PIP for Python). This for sure gives them a lot of visibility through telemetry and, on top of that, enables them to sell it to enterprises that don’t want to use the “as a service” version.


Yeah, I totally agree. It is all to play for for Microsoft.

Not only do they have a pretty solid cloud offering with Azure, but the integration with GitHub could be a game-changer. Also, they have a long and positive track record with developers.

Mind you, Amazon are killing it right now. There will be some stiff competition.

What do you think is going to happen with Google, @marykay25? They seem to be constantly stumbling.

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I’m torn on GCP. On the one hand, they’ve got the resources and money to do something great. They already have infrastructure around the world so they’ve got a great base to start out with. They’ve got the luxury of learning from Azure and AWS’ mistakes. I’ve dabbled a little into it and it has some definite advantages as far as easy of usability, etc. However, I haven’t really seen them capitalize on a lot of it. I don’t see a lot of people clamoring for GCP support or help or looking for people in the industry with GCP experience. And Google has a lousy track record of starting a venture, deciding at some point it’s no longer something they want to pursue and dropping it.

Now I do know that they’ve entered into a strategic partnership with a few companies like Sabre for instance which does give me hope that they intend to stick around. And I’ve seen articles about google offering cert programs for various career paths but I have to believe there is some emphasis on GCP in them. If these take off, that’s a heck of a lot of people who have learned GCP and they’ll bring that knowledge to their new employers and naturally lean towards leveraging GCP vs Azure or AWS. That could potentially make them a bigger player down the line.

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Indeed. I find this confounding about Google. They had all the right ingredients in place, and have arguably been the leader in scaling up services with their heritage. They even led a huge chunk of innovation with Kubernetes. It seems they just can’t make it stick. I am not quite sure why. Anyone else have any thoughts here? I am curious what @marknca thinks.

It is interesting you mention this. I have been wondering how much this impact them.

Inbox, Wave, Reader…the list goes on and on. This is not a flattering look:

This has definitely impacted business/consumer users I suspect, but do you think this is impacting infrastructure devs and SREs?

As usually Corey makes a lot of great points in his post but I don’t agree completely with his assessment.

From an account level, yes Azure is easier to get rolling with and if they do any level of integration with GitHub, it’ll be a huge game changer.

But I like to look at this one more along the lines of how people build. Here I think Google Cloud is actually the sweet spot but the business of Google Cloud prevents it’s adoption.

Google has just the right amount of services in the right categories. Builders don’t typically get lost trying to figure the difference between service A1, A2, and A3 where that’s happening more and more with AWS.

The APIs and data structures on Google also align a bit more seamlessly with how builders are thinking. They’re not perfect but there’s a lot to love there from a technical perspective.

You’ve already pointed out “Killed By Google” and that’s part of the story. The other part is that it’s a very opinionated cloud and the service & support teams around it often align to that opinion. So if you’re going things the “Google way” you’re golden, if not, it’s really hard to build a business on top of that cloud.

So yeah for the tech, boo for the business.

AWS continues to crush it because the most effective way to use AWS is to ignore 80% of it. There’s simply too much there at this point but if you can focus (and find) the few services that meet your needs, you’re all set.

Azure is extremely “Microsoft-y”. They are getting a lot better at shaking that but some of it is built into the core of the cloud. So while Microsoft builds great developer tools (VSCode and others), the building blocks range from meh to amazing.

At this point, none of the cloud is a slam dunk which is why a lot of teams keep building on AWS. They have such a massive lead, that it’s become the default choice.

What I’m really buoyed by is that teams are finally starting to look beyond just the tech into things like pace of innovation, cost, support, and community!


Let me add this to the discussion. According to a The Nex Stack survey, the number of Enterprises (1k+ employees) that use Azure is just 3% shy of AWS. Google Cloud more than doubled its number in two years (20% in 2019 to 49% in 2021).

This Google number is particularly interesting to me since as part of my role I talked to many different people building in the cloud, just a few (<5%) of them are building using Google. I wonder which part of the organization is using Google.


Hence why I shy away from them if possible.

I guess we should also mention that 1 cloud won’t be the answer. We see it everyday where people are leveraging multi cloud environments. Too much bad blood over the years where people have gotten locked into a vendor and can’t escape.

Anyone have any hopes pinned on IBMs cloud or Oracle? Not me but since we’ve brought up the others, figured I’d ask.

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@marknca can you unpack this a little more? What do you mean by this?

I think both have their space. I love to mock Oracle here and there, but in reality, they had over $31Billion (yeap, with a B) in profit last year alone. They can, and for sure will, reinvent themselves as a Cloud company.

Now, let’s talk IBM… A company that acquires both Red Hat and Instana, can only be treated as a serious contender. Kubernetes based Open Shift is huge among hybrid cloud practitioners, so I expect them to use this to their advantage.

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I think “Microsoft-y” is one of those things that you know it when you see it. If it’s overly complicated or takes a long time to get to the point, that’s Microsoft.

For instance, when I’m trying to diagnose a Microsoft problem and I go search the web for an answer, I typically will skip any Microsoft branded web pages. Usually they will have 3 pages of blah blah blah and may or may not even answer my question.

Some features seem to be shoe-horned into the cloud, not rethought. Azure Active Directory comes to mind. It’s not the same as on-premise Active Directory but has the same name. And although IAM in AWS is a bit confusing, Azure AD to me is unusable.

I’ve worked with a few features in Azure that seemed on the surface to work BUT once you start using them, you find that it’s not really going to work. It’s like the feature was half-baked.

I’ve had an opportunity to work with some teams on the backend of Azure and AWS and while both have their challenges for sure, AWS seems more responsive in general. Azure has too much bureaucracy so they aren’t as agile as they need to be for the cloud. To give an example, when I’ve had to request a refund on behalf of a customer from AWS, it took a few days after some back and forth. Same issue but for Azure, it took months going back and forth to determine with them the “process” to request a refund and THEN it took over a month to actually GET the refund. This is huge when it comes to cloud.


It’s probably too late to add anything meaningful to the discussion, so let me ask: who has the most street reputation with the open source community and how much of the future success of cloud providers will depend on good open source etiquette?

I think this may be the most decisive factor, and one that will keep our (well educated) predictions always fun to revisit.


I don’t think it’s too late :slight_smile:

This is a great question! AWS has its own struggles with Open-Source, but I’m not aware of the same by the other 2 big 3 cloud vendors. On the contrary, both Microsoft and Google are scoring street cred based on initiatives like Github and Kubernetes, respectively. I really wonder what the community has to say bout this!

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To put a different spin on it, half of the IT market give or take lives in the USA. For the other 50%, the cloud provider that does the better job of being present in and servicing a region (and probably a country) has a good shot to win the lion’s share of that market. The geo-political situation will get even more divided around regulatory and political lines. SaaS solutions will be in demand but data requirements will require a local presence.

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