Microsoft has laid out its plans to address complaints that it unfairly leverages its position in the market to penalize smaller cloud companies.
Smaller EU cloud companies filed a complaint against Microsoft, claiming the larger company made it more expensive for customers to use the smaller companies’ cloud services. Microsoft was specifically accused of making Microsoft Office more expensive for customers that chose to use a third-party cloud provider instead of Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft vowed in mid-May to address the complaints and revamp its licensing terms, and the company has now delivered, laying out its plans to do so. Microsoft is expanding its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to make it easier for partner cloud companies to provide their services to customers. According to a company blog post, Microsoft plans to do the following:
- Make it easier from customers to run their software on partner cloud platforms.
- Make sure partners have the tools they need to easily sell their products and services to customers.
- Help partners build solutions that provide the speed and scale customers need.
The company emphasized its goal of competing fairly in the EU market and based its changes on discussions with EU cloud partners.
At Microsoft we recognize the importance of a competitive environment in the European cloud provider market, in which smaller competitors can thrive. It is therefore critical for us to remain mindful of our responsibilities as a major technology company. In May of this year, after constructive discussions with representatives of our European cloud provider partners, Microsoft President and Vice Chair Brad Smith announced our European Cloud Principles and committed to addressing their valid concerns, starting with changes to our software licensing terms.
We are committed to competing fairly and in partnership with the diverse group of European cloud providers, and we strongly believe in the importance of an open and competitive cloud economy in Europe.
The new terms go into effect on October 1, 2022.