Google Cloud exec cautions of a Microsoft monopoly in cloud

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Google has been critical of its competitors lately, and Microsoft is now coming under fire from a Google Cloud executive. In an interview with Reuters, Google’s Vice President of Google Cloud Amit Zavery criticized Microsoft’s business practices in the cloud computing space. Google is well behind companies like Amazon and Microsoft in terms of cloud computing, and is desperately trying to catch up. In 2024, cloud computing is closely related to artificial intelligence processing. That’s another area where Microsoft has the opportunity to dominate, thanks to its close relationship with OpenAI. However, Microsoft has clearly denied allegations by the Google Cloud exec that it has a monopoly in the cloud.

“We worry about Microsoft wanting to flex their decade-long practices where they had a lot of monopoly on the on-premise software before and now they are trying to push that into cloud now,” Zavery told Reuters. “So they are creating this whole walled garden, which is completely controlled and owned by Microsoft, and customers who want to do any of this stuff, you have to go to Microsoft only.”

But Microsoft turned things around on Google at MWC Barcelona on Monday, when company President Brad Smith cleverly shifted the talk of a cloud monopoly onto Google. “Today, only one company is vertically integrated in a manner that includes every AI layer from chips to a thriving mobile app store,” Smith told a MWC audience. While Smith did not specifically name-drop Google, that part can be inferred. The company’s Tensor G3 chips, AI models, and the Google Play Store could be what Smith was referencing.

Google is calling for regulation of the alleged Microsoft cloud monopoly

Google warned that a Microsoft monopoly in the cloud could be disastrous for competition. “I think regulators need to provide some kind of guidance as well as maybe regulations which prevent the way Microsoft is building the Azure cloud business, not allow your on-premise monopoly to bring it into the cloud monopoly,” Zavery told Reuters. “If Microsoft cloud doesn’t remain open, we will have issues and long-term problems, even in next generation technologies like AI as well, because Microsoft is forcing customers to go to Azure in many ways.”

However, this argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, because Microsoft isn’t the industry leader in the cloud. That title belongs to Amazon, with AWS. In fact, this is exactly what a Microsoft spokesperson referenced in a statement to Reuters. “As the latest independent data shows, competition between cloud hyperscalers remains healthy,” the Microsoft spokesperson said. “In 2023, Microsoft and Google made small gains on AWS, which continues to remain the global market leader by a significant margin.”