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Google Steps Up Microsoft Criticism, Warns Of Rival's Monopoly In Cloud

Google Steps Up Microsoft Criticism, Warns Of Rival's Monopoly In Cloud
Google Cloud, a division of Alphabet, increased its criticism of Microsoft's cloud computing policies on Monday. According to the company, Microsoft is attempting to create a monopoly that would hinder the advancement of cutting-edge technology like generative artificial intelligence.
Because of their dominance in the cloud computing industry, Microsoft and Amazon have recently come under fire in the US, the UK, and the EU. Google is well behind the two giants, coming in third.
More worries have been raised by Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT.
"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," Google Cloud Vice President Amit Zavery said in an interview.
"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," he said.
"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," Zavery said, referring to Microsoft's cloud computing platform.
He asked antitrust authorities to take action.
"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 said.
The argument was dismissed by Microsoft.
"As the latest independent data shows, competition between cloud hyperscalers remains healthy," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "In 2023, Microsoft and Google made small gains on AWS, which continues to remain the global market leader by a significant margin."
On Monday, Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, subtly attacked Google.
"Today, only one company is vertically integrated in a manner that includes every AI layer from chips to a thriving mobile app store," he told the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Zavery questioned Microsoft's contracts with specific cloud providers as well, claiming that they fail to address the bigger problems. Last month, the trade association CISPE said that it was in negotiations with Microsoft to settle its EU antitrust complaint about the latter's licencing policies for cloud computing.
"Microsoft has been very smart, picking individual vendors who complain and do one-side deals but they don't solve the broader problem. So they can choose the winners and losers in many case as well, so they kind of pick who they want to compete with," Zavery said.
The criticism was disapproved by Microsoft.
"We have listened to and work constructively and directly with independent cloud providers to change our licensing terms, addressing their concerns and providing more opportunity for them. Worldwide, more than 100 cloud providers have already taken advantage of these changes," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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