Microsoft says it has spent $1 billion on data centers and other cloud-computing infrastructure in Europe during the past year and pledged to keep investing there, more evidence of the escalating arms race with Amazon.com and others to build a worldwide network of on-demand computing tools.
Microsoft and Amazon are each spending billions of dollars a year to build, buy and lease giant warehouses full of servers to rent out processing power and data storage.
Amazon’s Web Services (AWS), an early innovator in cloud computing, dominates that business, but Microsoft has ramped up its own investments in the past few years in a bid to catch up.
The Redmond company also said Monday it planned to open new data centers in France in 2017, an announcement that comes a few days after Amazon disclosed its intention to launch its own French data centers next year.
In November, the Seattle-area rivals also unveiled plans to open United Kingdom data centers within days of each other.
Analysts with Goldman Sachs said in an August report that sales of AWS totaled $10 billion in the past year. Microsoft’s own on-demand processing power and developer tools had revenue of about $2.1 billion, the investment bank said.
Microsoft has mounted a public-relations offensive to woo European cloud customers, touting its work on security and user privacy, including a yearslong court battle in which Microsoft successfully resisted a U.S. warrant seeking customer emails stored in an Irish data center.
In another nod to privacy and regulatory concerns, Microsoft’s German data centers give customers in the country the option to store their data locally, and under the custody of Deutsche Telekom.
Microsoft’s cloud-computing capacity in Europe has doubled in the past year, Chief Executive Satya Nadella [pictured here] said at an event Monday in Dublin that kicked off a tour with later stops in Paris,…