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Microsoft Expands European Presence With New Data Centers

As Microsoft's Azure cloud services continued to grow in popularity around the globe, Microsoft is racing to meet the demands of new markets. In fact, according to recent data collected from the Cloud Industry Forum, approximately 84% of UK-based enterprises have already adopted some form of cloud computing. Such demand is exactly what prompted the industry giant to expand their presence through a series of datacenters in the UK.

With a timeline that extends until late 2016, Microsoft hopes to deliver localized cloud and Office 365 services from new locations in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Microsoft also plans on making their Dynamics CRM Online software available at some point in the near future. This announcement was made at Microsoft's Future Decoded event, which took place in London in November 2015.

Current CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, explained the purpose of their recent European expansion. He was quoted as saying: "By expanding our data center regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland, we aim to give local businesses and organizations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth."

Immediate Benefits

There are a number of immediate benefits that will be realized by companies that are based in these countries and using Microsoft's cloud services. Localized servers and network infrastructure means lower latency for customers, and country-specific regulations can more easily be accommodated. The long-term benefits of the initiative have yet to be realized, but cost-savings, greater interconnectivity and even increased security are all potential future benefits.

Immediate Interest

The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense, or MOD, has already shown interest in Microsoft's newest operations. Mike Stone, the MOD's chief digital and information officer, stated: "At the MOD, we have a clear mission to deliver the modern, open and flexible IT resources required to ensure our forces have information capabilities tailored to their mission, location and role, accessible through a cost-effective and adaptable infrastructure. Microsoft's plans to offer highly secure, UK-based cloud services is an exciting development and one that will clearly support the MOD in our transformation journey."

Apart from the UK's Ministry of Defense, there are a number of UK-based companies that already rely on Microsoft's cloud services. This includes the retail chain of Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Confused.com, Shazam, Unilever, National Rail Enquiries and even the BBC.

Microsoft Azure at a Glance

First announced in October 2008 and finally unveiled to the public in February 2010, Microsoft Azure is a full-scale cloud computing platform that relies on Microsoft's growing network of datacenters as a means of facilitating data access, application management, system deployment and related services.

Microsoft Azure has continued to grow in popularity ever since, and has since become one of the widely used cloud platforms of today. Despite its continued success, Microsoft Azure still trails behind Amazon's Web Services as the most popular cloud provider. Microsoft is undoubtedly hoping that their latest move will hope capture some of that traffic from their competitors. For more information on Microsoft Azure, be sure to visit their official website at www.azure.microsoft

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