Microsoft announces UK data centres to arrive by late 2016

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Microsoft has announced it is to launch commercial cloud services from the UK, making Azure and Office 365 available from UK data centres by late 2016.

The Redmond giant already has data centres in 20 locations – or regions, if you prefer semantically – across five continents, yet its representation in Europe has been comparatively low, with only two data centres in Ireland and the Netherlands respectively. Back in September, cloud platform marketing general manager Mike Schutz boasted to analysts of the strength of Microsoft’s portfolio, being at that time “in more regions than [AWS and Google] combined.”

Alongside Azure and Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will follow for UK customers, according to the company. Microsoft also announced an expansion of its data centre facilities in Ireland and the Netherlands.

“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. “By expanding our data centre regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland we aim to give local businesses and organisations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth.”

Michel Van der Bel, area vice president and general manager of Microsoft UK, added: “The UK is a global leader in embracing the benefits of cloud-based solutions. Our commitment to offer Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 from local data centres will help meet such demand, especially for those organisations looking for solutions delivered from data centres based in the UK.”

The sense of competition among the ‘big four’ in cloud infrastructure – AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft – remains undimmed. Microsoft has always remained tight-lipped about its exact revenue figures from Azure, but having recalibrated its financial reporting, it is noticeable that the ‘intelligent cloud’ segment of its results contributed $5.89bn of its overall revenue last quarter, up from $5.48bn this time last year.

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