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Microsoft Azure Now Available in France

As the race to become the top competitor in the cloud computing race is hotter than ever, Microsoft has recently announced their plans for an Azure-specific data center in France. Moreover, this move is only part of a massive investment in cloud computing throughout all of Europe. In fact, Microsoft has allocated no less than $3 billion to be spent in cloud development, integration and promotion throughout the region.

Regional Availability

The news of their new initiative was delivered at the beginning of October 2016, approximately 30 days after the announcement that Amazon would be establishing their own presence in France. Although Microsoft's initial announcement didn't speak on the topic of AWS, they did point out the fact that they have "more regions than any other cloud provider."

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained the company's stance on cloud computing by saying: "We have a very particular point of view by what we mean by mobile first and cloud first. It’s about the mobility of your experience across all devices in your life [and] the way to achieve that mobility … those experiences… is only possible because of the cloud."

In addition, the news of Microsoft's new data center in France comes less than two weeks after the grand opening of two new data centers in Germany. These centers, which are located in the cities of Frankfurt and Magdeburg, form Microsoft's German Cloud.

Concerns Over Data Sovereignty

There is also the issue of data privacy and sovereignty, all of which need to be observed by Microsoft and any of their partners. Concerning their two facilities in Germany, data access will be governed by Deutsche Telekom.

While they haven't announced specific plans for the regulation of data within their France facility, Microsoft Azure's general manager, Tom Keane, mentioned the topic in a blog post. He wrote: "Our regions in Europe currently offer Azure services, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 as well as cloud suites like EMS, OMS, IoT, and additional solutions that are ready to deploy locally. Our datacenters, suites and services offer data residency and local compliance certifications including EU model clause 2010/87/EU, together with country specific certifications."

Looking Toward the Future

Microsoft obviously has a solid plan for the penetration of the European cloud market. By targeting large enterprises and governmental entities at first, they're likely to pave the way for widespread consumer adoption of the technology. Furthermore, they'll be able to enjoy their status as one of the first major cloud providers in the region.

It's been interesting to watch the development of cloud computing. While the technology is still in its early stages of development and integration, it's made leaps and bounds in just a few short years. Even more interesting has been the global race to introduce cloud computing to the masses, which, so far, has been dominated by the likes of Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

For more information on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, including features, pricing plans and even access to a free trial, interested parties should visit the official website at azure.microsoft.com.

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