A senior executive at Amazon Web Services has accused Microsoft of making cosmetic licensing changes to appease regulators, but continues to make its wares more expensive when run in rivals’ clouds.
Matt Garman, a senior vice president of sales and market at AWS, took to LinkedIn to share his view that “Customers and policymakers around the world are increasingly seeing MSFT’s recent licensing rhetoric as a disturbing admission of the same anti-competitive tactics that many companies have been raising with them for years, but no attention was paid to them until they were brought before the European Commission.”
This is not fairness in licensing and is not what customers want
That’s a reference to concessions Microsoft made in May 2022 after OVHcloud, Nextcloud and other European cloud operators filed a class action lawsuit over issues including Microsoft’s charging less to run Windows in its own clouds than in its facilities. rivals.
Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, described the change in the software giant’s stance as enabling license portability to Euro-clouds, plus allowing such operators to offer a bundle that competes with Microsoft 365.
Garman thinks effort falls short of real competition.
MSFT’s answer is not to do what’s right for customers and establish their policies so that all customers can use MSFT’s software on the cloud provider they choose; but under the pretense of supporting European technology needs, MSFT states. to select cloud providers over whom it is less competitively involved and run MSFT software only on those providers,” he wrote.
“This is not fair in licensing and is not what customers want,” Garman added. “We continue to hear from customers around the world that MSFT’s discriminatory licensing practices are costing them millions of dollars and the freedom to partner with whoever they want.”
Garman’s post is notable because AWS executives rarely share such sharp opinions in public. The cloud behemoth keeps busy and highly polished blogs and occasionally uses Amazon’s editorial staff to make a point. This post is unusual in its source, medium and tone – AWS spends most of its energy detailing its own offerings.
Flinging FUD — a vendor blogosphere tactic that has sadly gone out of fashion — isn’t really something to do for AWS either.
But advocating for customers is, so Garman’s claim that Microsoft’s practices are a cost to business makes some sense.
Some Microsoft licenses are cheapest when users choose to make long-term commitments to run the company’s goods in Azure. The company also bundles its products with extended or managed support when run in its own cloud.
Even if Microsoft offered price parity, it would arguably offer a service that rivals would have a hard time matching.
Amazon offers its own Linux, which is deeply and uniquely integrated with its own cloud services. Linux support is free in that offering, so AWS is far from a stranger when it comes to creating bundles that undercut rivals. ®