After heated criticism over its licensing practices, Microsoft has promised to improve its cloud licensing practices and general principles to level the playing field.
For a while, the tech giant has been on the receiving end, particularly by European services providers who felt disadvantaged. Last month, it was reported that the EU commission was probing Microsft’s cloud offers, following numerous complaints by other vendors.
The tech firm has taken some quick actions. Brad Smith, Microsoft president stated; “As a major technology provider, we recognize our responsibility to support a healthy competitive environment and the role that trusted local providers play in meeting customers’ technology needs. We thought it was important to start taking meaningful action within weeks, rather than months or years, and we set a goal internally to do so.”
Microsoft outlined its five-step action points as follows:
- We will ensure our public cloud meets Europe’s needs and serves Europe’s values.
- We will ensure our cloud provides a platform for the success of European software developers.
- We will partner with and support European cloud solution providers.
- We will ensure our cloud offerings meet European governments’ sovereign needs, in partnership with local trusted technology providers.
- We will recognize that European governments are regulating technology, and we will adapt to and support these efforts.
In 2019, Microsoft changed the terms of engagement when outsourcing license agreement. Part of the changes resulted in higher charges for customers running Windows Server on AWS or Google Cloud as compared to those running it on Azure.
In a lengthy post, Smith outlined a multi-faceted approach to remedy the situation.
“The first is a commitment to use Microsoft’s resources to invest in and build a public cloud that will meet Europe’s economic, security, and cultural needs in a deep and forward-looking manner.” He wrote.