Software Resources & News

  • Office 2007 End of Life Is Here - What You Can Do & Stay Protected

    microsoft-Office-2007-end-of-life-is-here

    Planning for Microsoft Office 2007 “End of Life”

    Perhaps one of the things that gives life so much meaning is that from the day we are born, we never quite know how much time we will have on Earth. Born just ten years ago, Microsoft Office 2007 once experienced a similar sense of wonder, but now with its “end of life” date looming on the horizon, it has become clear that this once highly-applauded piece of software is just as mortal as we are.

    As we approach the end of our lives, we might find ourselves asking a number of different questions. Could I have done more? What is the meaning of all this? How could an infinitely powerful and benevolent company like Microsoft allow its innocent products to die so young?

    While some of these questions remain beyond our mortal ability to answer, this guide is here to help you prepare:

    When is the scheduled end of life date for Microsoft Office 2007?

    For some of Office’s lesser used features—such as Exchange Server, Accounting 2007, and Interconnect 2007—the end of life date has already occurred on April 11th of this year.

    For the remainder of Microsoft Office 2007’s applications, the end of life date will occur on October 10th (2017). These applications include, but are not limited to:

    • Microsoft Excel 2007
    • Microsoft Outlook 2007 (including Business Contact Manager)
    • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 (both home and student versions)
    • Microsoft Word 2007
    • Microsoft Project 2007
    • Microsoft Visio 2007 (both professional and standard versions)
    • …essentially all Microsoft Office products from the year 2007

    If you currently have any files that have been created using Microsoft Office 2007, it is a very good idea to backup, save, and store them before the end of life date.

    What exactly does the “end of life” date mean?

    The end of life date does not mean that all of your files are going to be deleted. It is does, however, mean that these files are now much more at risk of being permanently lost than before.

    Essentially, the “end of life” date really just means the end of Microsoft’s support cycle. According to the company website, this means the end of both security and non-security updates, both free and paid assisted support options, and online technical content updates.

    If you do not use Microsoft support services very often or at all, you might not be immediately affected by this rather grimly named point in time. However, if you need support in the future due to the technical difficulties that will inevitably emerge from using a product that is now an entire decade old, you will be completely out of luck.

    Will I continue to be able to use Microsoft Office 2007?

    Even after the end of the support lifecycle, you will still be able to use Microsoft Office 2007, you will just be doing so at your own risk. This is not the first time Microsoft has ended the support lifecycle for its software products, and since the software itself is rather well-made, many people have been able to continue using it for even years on end without support. However, as time goes on, the bigger the risk of using unsupported software becomes.

    Really, the biggest risk you face will be from the lack of future security updates. Though these updates can often be annoying at times, they are still very important in a world with increasing sources of cybersecurity threats. When deciding whether or not to migrate to a newer version of Microsoft Office, you ought to begin by asking yourself, is it worth the risk of losing security?

    Microsoft Word - Bring Out Your Best

    What are my current options for purchasing Microsoft Office?

    Essentially, Microsoft recommends one of two migration options. You could either subscribe to the newest version of Microsoft Office which is known as Office 365, or you could purchase a different version of Office that is currently supported, such as Office 2016. Migrating to both of these platforms will allow you to benefit from the latest (and at times, quite helpful) product developments and also continue receiving the essential product upgrades you need.

    If you are looking to make a seamless migration away from Microsoft Office 2007, consider contacting the Experts at Royal. Royal Discount is an officially licensed Microsoft partner specializing in business and personal software licensing. Here, you will be able to receive personalized service and advice from our help desk. Give us a call and let us help you with your migration away from 2007, affordably - 1-877-292-7712


  • SQL Server 2012 vs 2014 Comparison

    sql-server-2012-vs-sql-2014-comparison

    What's the Difference Between SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014?

    Microsoft’s SQL Server is providing its services as a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) and now has become a compelling choice for the Enterprise RDBMS deployment. Several subsequent versions of SQL Servers have been released by Microsoft. Below is our guide to help you properly and safely license SQL Server.

    SQL Server 2012 Licensing Models

    There are two licensing models in SQL Server 2012:

    1. Core-Based Licensing
    2. Server and Client Access License (CAL) Licensing
    • For Enterprise Edition, you need Core-Based Licensing
    • For Business Intelligence Edition, you are required to have Server and CAL based Licensing.
    • For Standard Edition, you can choose between Core-Based Licensing and Server and CAL based licensing.

    Core-Based Licensing:   

    This mode of licensing is used when the number of users or clients are uncountable. The license is sold for two cores and a minimum of 4 cores licenses are sold for a server. Each process on each machine is required to have a minimum of 4 cores licensed otherwise it is not sold.

    Server and Client Access License Licensing:

    This mode of licensing is used when the number of users or the clients is pre-determined and when you know that the number is never going to grow. In this scheme, each machine that is a client needs a CAL and a server needs a separate license.

    Pricing:

     

    SQL Server 2014 Licensing Models

    There are two licensing models in SQL Server 2014:

    1. Core-Based Licensing
    2. Server and Client Access License (CAL) Licensing
    • For Enterprise Edition, Core Licensing is a requirement.
    • For Business Intelligence Edition, you are required to have Server and CAL based Licensing.
    • For Standard Edition, you can choose between Core-Based Licensing and Server and CAL based licensing.

    Core-Based Licensing:  

    This mode of licensing is used when the number of users or clients are uncountable. The license is sold for a pack of two cores and a minimum of 4 cores licenses are sold for a server. Each process on each machine is required to have a minimum of 4 cores licensed otherwise it is not sold.

    Server and Client Access License Licensing:

    This mode of licensing is used when the number of users or the clients is pre-determined and when you know that the number is never going to grow. In this scheme, each machine that is a client needs a CAL and a server needs a separate license.

    Pricing:

    $875 per Server

    $205 per CAL

    $3399 For the 2-Core

    Have questions about SQL Server 2012, 2014 or 2017 Licensing? Call our Microsoft Certified experts at Royal Discount. We've been helping businesses properly setup their SQL Server environments for over 15 years running. Get in Touch Here - 1-877-292-7712.


  • Windows Server 2016 Licensing Explained

    windows server 2016 licensing

    Licensing Changes & New Features

    As expected with a new release of windows, Windows Server 2016 arrives bundled with a huge array of new features. From Nano-Servers to Docker support, these new offerings work together to form a well-balanced, flexible enterprise Operating System.

    One of the most important releases found in the 2016 version is the hyped Nano Server feature. Nano Server is a stripped-down version of Windows Server that’s designed specifically for cloud environments. Nano Server offers headless installation with up to 92% less footprint of the core server GUI.

    Aside from NANO Server, other newly unlocked features include Server and Hyper-V containers, nested virtualization, Linux secure boot and virtual memory management.

    Licensing - Per Core Vs CAL

    Similarly, the licensing models have also changed. Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter were actually very similar in functionality. The only difference was the number of installations allowed. Previously, with Windows Server 2012, one license covered two processors. Every Processor was licensed separately in the machine (regardless of the number of cores). But with the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is moving to per-core licensing. This means Microsoft only cares about the number of cores in your processor.

    Theoretically you could have a single processor with multiple cores. Another way Microsoft has changed licensing over the years with respect to WS.

    Editions Overview: Windows Server 2016 comes in three editions - Datacenter edition, Standard edition and Essential edition. Apart from the differences in licensing, these editions differ in features as well. Datacenter edition is suitable for big companies and highly virtualized data center environments. Standard edition is for customers with smaller, non-virtualized environments. Essential edition is the most bare bones version of the three, suitable for only small businesses with 25 devices or 50 users. Datacenter and Standard edition require Client Access Licensing (CALs). CALS are offered in core licensing model. Essential edition does not require purchase of CAL licenses.

    innovation with windows server 2016

    Other Licensing Information: To meet licensing requirements, each server must license a minimum of 2 processors with 8 cores each i.e: 16 cores. If your server specs are less than 2 processors, Microsoft still requires the purchase of the 16 core instance. The good news is that licensing costs typically remain the same when compared to Server 2012. Prices do increase when the the number of cores exceeds 8 cores.

    This per core licensing model was designed to increase from high consumption clients. Lower tiered infrastructures will not be affected. This change makes Windows Server very similar to SQL server with respect to licensing.

    Feature Differences: Both Standard and Datacenter edition come with different feature sets. Datacenter is the fully unlocked version and has unlimited hyper-V controllers. Both the editions offer Nano Server and unlimited storage containers.

    Pricing & Versions

    Pricing:

    Purchasing the right version of Windows Server should be simple. Contact Royal, the Microsoft Certified experts to help with all of your licensing needs.

    Have questions about licensing your Windows Server environment? Speak with our licensing department at 1-877-292-7712. Royal Discount is the best place to buy legal, cheap computer software online for over 15 years running.


  • How to License Windows Server 2012 The Right Way

    licensing for windows server 2012

    Windows Server 2012 Highlights

    Windows Server is a server side operating system from Microsoft. Since its inception in 2008, Microsoft released many versions of the OS. Windows Server 2012 is currently the most popular, and stable version of the OS.

    Windows Server 2012 comes with a slew of features and licensing models. New features include a new resilient file system (Refs) - which is an evolution of NTFS. The main focus of refs is availability and integrity. Also included are improved power-shell capabilities, Hyper-V replication, New Server Manager, Direct Access VPN and dynamic access control.

    Versions & Releases:

    Editions Overview: Windows Server 2012 is offered in three different editions, each with their own features and licensing rules. Versions include Standard, Datacenter and Essential. The standard and datacenter editions are mainly similar in features. The primary difference between the two, being the number of virtual instances you are allowed to run. The essential edition is also similar in features but is limited to only one instance per development environment.

    Standard Edition: Designed for small to medium sized organizations. Allows you to run 2 server software per license. Additional licenses can also be purchased.

    Datacenter Edition: Suitable for large scale data centers. This edition allows the user to run unlimited number of software instances.

    Essential Edition: Designed for small organization with 25 devices and 50 users. Limited to one server instance.

    Licensing Models: Starting with Server 2012, Microsoft introduced their new, per-core licensing model. This means Standard and DataCenter editions should be licensed based on the amount of processors their server has. Each license covers 2 processors. A CPU or socket is counted as one processor, cores are not.

    Example: A single processor with 10 cores would only require one license.

    Pricing: The DataCenter edition with all the bells and whistles will run you about $5988 for the base 2 core license. While the standard edition costs $689. Both of these editions require Client access licenses (CAL) while the essential edition does not. This is an approximate pricing which is subject to change.

    One Processor with 12 OSE’s require one Datacenter edition while 6 Standard edition licenses, since standard edition allows the running of 2 virtual instances per license.

    One 4-processor server non-virtualized server require 2 standard edition license and 2 datacenter edition licenses.

    How to Properly License CALs:

    Client Access Licensing: Windows Server 2012 standard and Datacenter require both device CALs and user CAls for each user or device connecting to the system. The essential edition does not require CALs, it only allows maximum of 50 devices.

    Still have questions about Windows Server 2012 licensing? Speak to our experts. Royal Discount has been helping individuals and businesses with Microsoft for over 15 years. Contact us directly at 1-877-292-7712.


  • Which Versions of Microsoft Office Include Access?

    office versions including microsoft access

     

    Microsoft Office is a productivity suite developed by Microsoft. It includes various products like Word, Outlook, Excel, Access and Publisher. Up until the early 1980’s, all these products were available as standalone programs. Today, Microsoft has bundled these programs together to create what is now known as the Microsoft Office Suite. This suited aimed to increase the overall productivity of the workplace by providing seamless compatibility & control.

    Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 2016 are the two latest versions in the long line of products that the company has released over the years. Both of these versions have different features, which in turn, come with different sets of applications. Office 2013 and Office 2016 are both available in Home, Standard, Professional Edition and Professional Plus Edition. All of these editions come with different packages of applications and features.

    What is Microsoft Access?

    Microsoft Access is an application found in Office, and is a Database Management System(DBMS). Access allows the users to create and maintain relational databases. This Relational Database Manager (RDBMS) uses a JET database engine along with forms, reports, graphics and visual basic for custom program execution. Long story short, access provides a seamless platform that integrates with a variety of database instances.

    Users are able to create databases with little prior knowledge. This easy to use, all-purpose DBMS gives the non-developers the ability to create database solutions without the help of Professional Developers. MS Access is scalable, and allows connections to SQL server databases for virtually unlimited database size. This application seamlessly integrates with various data sources like ODBC, SQL server and other MS databases. With multi user support, individuals can edit data without chance of error. All of these services come included with Access, at no additional charge.

    Which Versions of Office Include Access?

    Microsoft Access is only available in the Professional and Professional Plus versions of Office 2013 and 2016.

    Office 2016 Professional ships with the latest version of Access and runs $389. Users will also get full versions of their favorite applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc. Each license is good for one computer for lifetime usage (without any monthly fees). Office Professional also comes with free technical support to help with any hiccups.

    Professional Plus is essentially the same package as Professional but with Volume License support. Companies who are looking to dispatch multiple licenses can do so easily with Pro Plus. Ms Access is included in this edition as well.

    For more information on Microsoft Access, or to speak with our Microsoft Licensing experts call our help desk. We have over 15+ years of Microsoft experience and can help you find the right product for your needs. Dial 1-877-292-7712 or contact us directly.


  • Microsoft Focuses on its Partners Amidst a $4.5 Trillion Cloud Opportunity

    Microsoft's Move to the Cloud - Small Business Edition

    The world of technology is dramatically changing, and the use of cloud-based storage systems is something that presents both businesses and network providers with a wealth of new opportunities. The use of hybrid cloud networks has enabled businesses to transform the way they store data by offering them increased accessibility, security, and data storage capacity.

    Experts have estimated that this digital transformation—migrating from traditional servers to a cloud-based network—presents itself as a $4.5 Trillion (yes, trillion) market opportunity. In response to recognizing the tremendous opportunity available, Microsoft has become increasingly committed to its network and product providers. The company has created a new partner-focused program that helps accelerate the promotion of Microsoft Azure, and simultaneously focuses on developing the businesses who use their products.

    Microsoft 365 Business & Microsoft 365 Enterprise

    Microsoft 365 Business—which will be available for public preview August 2nd—has been applauded for its focus on making it easier than ever before for businesses to gain a competitive advantage through the use of superior information technology. The factors that distinguish Microsoft 365 Business from the ordinary addition of Microsoft 365 (unveiled in July) are 365 Business’ capacity to be used by up to 300 unique users, its security features (such as a centralized console), and its uniquely management-oriented software.

    Like the highly anticipated 365 Business product, Microsoft 365 Enterprise is another option that is specifically designed to meet the security and performance needs of a large scale operation. Particularly, it has been praised for the way in which it enables large groups to work together comprehensively on a common project—something many businesses have been hoping to be developed for a long time.

    microsoft-office-cloud-services

    Microsoft Azure Stack

    As more companies hope to shift to the use of a hybrid cloud platform, Microsoft Azure Stack is another product that has attracted a considerable amount of attention from both critics and users alike. Azure Stack is a uniquely versatile hybrid cloud platform that prides itself for its ability to be easily accessed from anywhere in the world, and furthermore, its ability to adapt to the specific needs of businesses that are either in transition or rapidly expanding their use of information technology. In fact, although Amazon still maintains the largest share of the cloud networking industry, Microsoft’s ambitious rate of development has enabled it to be the fastest growing in the market this year.

    In an effort to take advantage of the massive prospects presented by this $4.5 trillion market, Microsoft has created a profit-sharing network in which—contrary to the tradition of using single-lined contracts—both the company’s intermediary partners and Azure users can mutually benefit from each other’s well-being. By allowing its partners to earn up to 10% of the ultimate profit from the distribution and installation of Azure, the world will be more quickly motivated and able to find workable cloud-based networks, and the individuals making this possible will be justly compensated for their role in this transformation.

    A Newfound Appreciation for Microsoft Partners

    Microsoft is a company who has boldly claimed its mission to empower everyone to achieve more. As the company has continued to expand its global presence, it has consistently praised the ability of its partners to bring such a wide-reaching mission to life. In fact, as of 2017, Microsoft partners employ over 17 million people worldwide, and the company is expecting that its new profit-sharing system will enable them to earn upwards of a trillion dollars themselves. The company is one who stands by what it believes to be the most important: its high-quality products, its extensive distribution network, and the effectively well-being of those who use its products.

    For more information on cloud services, or to speak with a Certified Microsoft Partner, contact Royal Discount today. Helping businesses and organizations properly license Microsoft for over 15 years. Have Questions?

    Contact Our Licensing Desk Here - 1-877-292-7712


  • Windows Server Now Part of Microsoft's Semi-Annual Release Schedule

    Windows Server Moves to Semi-Annual Releases

    Windows Server, part of Microsoft’s Windows NT family, is a server operating system used for enterprise level management. Windows server provides the same features of a normal OS, but with several additional server management features. Windows Server 2016 is the latest and greatest in the long line of these Server operating systems, and is the first major release since Windows Server 2012. With Windows Server 2016, instead of a release every few years Microsoft moves to the semi-annual release cycle.

    In accordance with this semi-annual release cycle, the Microsoft will release Windows Server updates every Spring and Fall, over 18 months. This new release method is in cadence with the Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 release strategy. Microsoft’s goal is to bring new, cutting-edge features to customers, faster. This update cycle will enable the software to react quickly to changes in market demands and reduce the number of unsupported use cases.

    Windows Server 2016 News

    Want to Upgrade for Free? Opt for Software Assurance

    These updates will be accessible to all users who are part of Microsoft’s Software Assurance Program along with Windows Server Standard edition users. Datacenters without the access to the Software Assurance Program however, will not be able to update. These updates will be automatically become available on Azure Cloud as software images. Enterprises can opt out of this update cycle and Microsoft will continue to offer Windows Server in LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) with 16 years of support.

    This new update cycle will also include Server Core and Microsoft’s data center tool. MS now encourages the use of Server Core for hosting virtual machines and for infrastructure workloads. This will ensure consistency in hybrid IT environments. Nano Server, Windows Server designed for containers, will not be a part of this update cycle. It will have a consistence release every 6 months. Microsoft aims to make Nano Server even smaller, claiming to reduce its size by 50% in the next update. Microsoft is emphasizing the use of Nano Server only for building containers and away from infrastructure related roles.

    Added Linux Support

    Perhaps most anticipated, is included support for Linux containers. Microsoft is also bringing bash support for windows server just like with Windows 10. Additionally, Windows Server users will get to choose when to update. As with Windows 10, there will be a preview program for the users who want accelerated updates and are willing to take the risk of running beta software. Such users can opt for this functionality by joining the Windows Insider Program.

    Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is a part of the company’s recent push into cloud space along with Azure stack. This new release cycle will address one of the biggest breakthroughs in Microsoft unified Windows Development.

    Royal Discount is a certified Microsoft Partner specializing in licensing and sales of Windows Server. To learn more, or to speak to one of our Certified Licensing Experts, contact us.


  • What's The Difference Between Exchange Online Plan 1 and Plan 2?

    Microsoft Exchange Online

    Microsoft exchange online offers businesses fully-hosted email plans complete with online calendars and contacts. Access your data from anywhere with technology based off of Microsoft’s popular exchange server. The most significant attribute of exchange online is the hosted nature of emails which enable the services to be accessed through Wide Area Network(WAN). In turn, there are no packages to configure and deploy. Setup is easy. In fact, no physical servers are needed whatsoever. This greatly reduces the capital required for enterprise-grade email management.

    coworkers-using-exchange-online-plans

    Exchange online comes with all Office 365 Subscriptions that include email services. It also comes separately as a standalone package. Exchange online is for customers who are in need of only the hosted exchange service without the add-ons. There are mainly two different exchange online subscriptions: exchange online plan 1 and exchange online plan 2.

    Exchange Online Plan 1 is the cheaper of the two plans. This plan offers a secure corporate email for as low as $4.00/user per month. Each user is provided with 50 GB of inbox storage and can send messages up to 150 MB. All of the features like inbox management, sharing of calendars and contacts is available. Inbox management uses machine learning algorithms to clear up clutter from the inbox just the way you want. This service automatically moves the old message from the inbox to In-place archive automatically to clear up clutter. This plan comes with web based email support, Outlook support is not included.

    Exchange Online Plan 2 is twice expensive then the Plan 1. It costs $8.00/user per month but with the extra cost a couple of handy feature like Data Loss Prevention(DLP), voicemail and practically unlimited storage. The size of the inbox for each user is increased from 50 GB to 100 GB. The primary storage is only limited by this space, the In-Place Archive has unlimited storage. Additionally, the In-Place Hold feature allows the users to protect deleted and edited mailbox items from primary mailbox and In-Place Archives. Unified messaging reports and inactive mailboxes are also available unlike plan 1. The built-in DLP allows the protection of sensitive information through rigorous deep-content analysis based on Personal Identifiable Information(PII) and Payment Card Industry(PCP). Plan 2 also comes with hosted voice mail which allow the user to answer calls with added features like dial-in user interface and automated attendants. Plan 2 also comes with only web based email support.

    Both Plan 1 and Plan 2 come with bleeding edge security measures. Every mailbox is protected with anti-malware and anti-spam protection. For more information on exchange online pricing and migrations, speak to a migrations expert to discuss your options.

    Find a customized solution for your needs. Royal Discount is a Certified Microsoft Partner and Cloud Solutions Provider specializing in mailbox and 365 migrations. To request a quote, or to speak to our sales & support team, contact us here.


  • How Does Cloud Migration Work?

    The Journey from On-Prem to the Cloud

    For most of human history, information was stored in nothing other than our minds and memories. But then came the development of spoken language, then written language, and then mass-production via the printing press. Then, in the 20th Century, the development of computing language enabled us to store more information in a finite space than ever before. But as we move further into the information era, the ways in which we store data continue to evolve at an almost alarming rate. As the “cloud” continues to advance in practical use and functionality, an increasing number of businesses—small and large alike—are participating in the data storage revolution.

    The use of “cloud” storage data, though still dependent on the use of a “ground” server to function, has essentially exhausted the material limitations of the past. Though at first the use of cloud networks was something whose use was limited for only the largest data companies (such as Google, IBM, and Microsoft), now, businesses of any size can participate in the secure use of cloud storage. As businesses and individuals continue to attest, the potential benefits from doing switching to a cloud network are not something that ought to be ignored.

    Migrated Cloud Users Working Together

    What are the benefits of storing data in the cloud?

    The first reason that many businesses are switching to cloud based systems is that it saves them a substantial amount on costs. Cloud-based technology enables companies to minimize (or avoid altogether) the costs of having to run their own servers, rent server space in inconvenient warehouses, and maintain a constant reliance on the use of cables, chords, and other data storage materials.

    Furthermore, cloud-based technology is not entirely dependent on any particular server and this offers both companies and individuals an additional sense of security. Before, many companies would be unwittingly forced to accept the risk that if one particular server were to crash, all of their valuable data could be lost. Sure, these companies could indeed back up their data on another server. But even when doing so, they still could not avoid the risk that the kinds of events causing their primary server to crash could also cause their back up servers to crash as well—hence, the cloud was developed.

    By using a cloud, data is securely stored in a way that is independent of any particular server, and therefore, the risk of it being lost is substantially decreased. Companies that switch to a cloud-based system, ultimately, are more secure, less expensed, and able to access their information from anywhere they may want to.

    What are the different stages of digital transformation?

    Transitioning from a traditional data storage systems to a cloud-based system is a very accessible process that, for some, may seem surprisingly simple.

    • Design- the process begins by examining the company’s specific needs, and declaring the applications that are most important. The cloud provider than creates a plan that will roadmap the optimal combination of capacity, security, speed, accessibility, and price. Most cloud platforms can be considered to be ‘hybrid’ varieties since—because different businesses have different needs—customization is usually the best approach.
    • Migration- in the digital transformation process, migration is the phrase used to describe when the data moves from the ground system to the cloud. The migration process is usually a collaborative effort between the cloud provider and the company’s IT network to assure that nothing gets lost and the transition is as smooth as possible.
    • Continued Innovation- even once the cloud system has been implemented, it can still be improved over time. Because these networks have such a degree of flexibility, the company running the cloud can continue to learn by experience and adapt appropriately.

    If you or your company are looking to switch to a cloud-based system, it is important to find a cloud service provider that is trustworthy and willing to adapt to your needs. Royal Discount is a Microsoft Certified partner specializing in Cloud Migrations, Service & Support. For more information on cloud services, or to speak to a infrastructure as a service expert, contact us direct.


  • Cloud Market Battle: Amazon vs Microsoft vs Google

    Microsoft’s Cloud Business is Growing Faster than Both Amazon and Google

    The progressive shift towards cloud-based networks has sparked a great deal of competition among potential network providers who dominate the industry. Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have all established themselves at the top of an increasingly crowded market, and though Amazon still maintains the largest share of the market between these three, Microsoft is ambitiously catching up.

    There are many reasons the industry hierarchy is constantly shifting. Here’s a look at these companies’ recent developments:

    • Microsoft- the company’s Intelligent Cloud division—which includes Azure and various other cloud services—was pleased to announce a 93% growth figure for the first quarter of 2017. Furthermore, the company’s commercial cloud business has achieved an impressive annual figure of $15.2 billion. These rates make the company the fastest growing in the market, and it is expected to continue to increase its share as its network is further refined over time.
    • Amazon- some figures claim that Amazon has upwards of a 40% share of the public cloud services market—substantially more than Google, IBM, and Microsoft combined. This is largely because, as a company, Amazon was among the first to exploit the market and continue producing high quality products. The 40% figure, however, is one that is likely to decline as industry competition begins to wear on.
    • Google- first and foremost, Google is an advertising company, but the rest of the company—largely enhanced by its increased provision of cloud networks—witnessed an improvement in sales revenues by nearly 50% in the first quarter of this year. The $3.1 billion yielded from these efforts is indeed an impressive figure, though still comparatively less than Microsoft.

    As time goes on, and the innovations created by one company challenge and inspire innovation to occur among others, it seems these companies will each inevitably be driven to some form of specialization. Furthermore, companies cannot forget the constant market presence that is held by IBM and other domestic producers. Nor can they ignore the increase in competition that is being posed by foreign providers—particularly those headquartered in China and Europe.

     

    microsoft cloud environment

    So, why is Microsoft experiencing the fastest rate of growth?

    The competition among these industry titans is intense, and each considers even a fractional gain of the market share to be a victory in and of itself. But Microsoft has been doing particularly well lately, and this is largely due to the popularity and usefulness of its newly developed cloud building platform Azure. Azure has been distinctively recognized as being business-friendly, easy to transition to, and capable of increasing both organizational efficiency and capacity.

    While Google’s revenue is predominantly produced from advertising (over 80% of all revenues as of Q1 2017), it has not been nearly as invested in its cloud platform as Microsoft has. Similarly, Amazon is a company whose AWS may maintain the largest market share in the status quo, but the company is largely invested elsewhere. Microsoft, on the other hand, has been comparatively able to specialize and develop Azure to make it the cloud platform of choice for new and expanding businesses.

    Considering that it is typically businesses that make up the majority of the demand for cloud networks, it is unsurprising that Microsoft’s conscious effort to appeal to their needs has been rewarded in the form of an increased share of the market. As technology continues to change, there is no doubt that more businesses will be looking for more complex and integrative IT solutions. As expected, the cloud networks of Amazon and Google are briskly expanding, but the network produced by Microsoft can be expected to grow at an even greater rate.

    For more information on Microsoft Cloud Services, contact Royal Discount today. Call us direct for a one on one licensing consultation - 1-877-292-7712.