Just how much bigger is Amazon Web Service’s cloud computing division compared to Microsoft and Google?
It’s hard to make a complete apples-to-apples comparison because none of these companies are extraordinarily transparent when releasing information about the financial health of their operations.
But, a new report from New Hampshire-based firm Technology Business Research estimates Amazon’s cloud revenue at more than $4.7 billion this year. TBR pegs Microsoft’s public cloud IaaS revenue at $156 million and Google’s at $66 million. If those estimates are correct than Amazon’s cloud revenue is 30 times bigger than Microsoft’s.
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Jillian Mirandi, who authored the report (see it here), does have a caveat. “Google Compute Engine was made generally available in December 2013 and Microsoft Azure IaaS in April 2013, giving AWS a six year head start.” Still, even with 6 years ahead, that’s a dramatic difference. And these figures are only related to the IaaS market - compute, network and storage on-demand - not lucrative SaaS apps.
Of course the numbers are opaque. Earlier this week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during a press event to announce a new private Cloud Platform System (CPS) that Microsoft’s cloud has an annual revenue run rate of $4.4 billion. That includes not only Microsoft Azure IaaS, but also Microsoft Office 365 SaaS apps, such as Microsoft Dynamics.
In Q3 earnings reports released this week, all three companies were coy about their cloud revenues. Microsoft said its cloud has grown 123%. Amazon, meanwhile said it enjoyed 90% year-over-year usage growth. Companies can make numbers say a lot of different things. Amazon famously hides its AWS revenues behind the veil of an “other” category in its earnings reports, which include AWS revenues and “other” revenues as well not related to ecommerce.
Until these companies are more open about their financial figures all we can do is rely on estimates. But based on those estimates, when it comes to public cloud IaaS revenue, Amazon appears to be top dog.