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Microsoft Teams With Elon Musk’s SpaceX to Push Cloud Battle With Amazon Into Orbit


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A SpaceX rocket carrying satellites for its Starlink network launched in Cape Canaveral, FL, earlier this year.

Microsoft Corp. is teaming up with Elon Musks SpaceX and others to help connect and deploy new services using swarms of low-orbit spacecraft proposed by SpaceX, as well as more traditional fleets of satellites circling the earth at higher altitudes.

Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press

Microsoft Corp. is teaming with Elon Musk's SpaceX and others as the software giant opens a new front in its cloud-computing battle with Amazon.com Inc.,  targeting space customers.

Microsoft would help connect and deploy new services using swarms of low-orbit spacecraft being proposed by SpaceX, and more traditional fleets of satellites circling the earth at higher altitudes. Microsoft's initiative targeting commercial and government space businesses, formally launched Tuesday, comes about three months after Amazon Web Services, the e-retailer's cloud unit, disclosed its space-focused effort.

Some analysts have projected that overall revenue from space-related cloud services could total about $15 billion by the end of the decade, at least several times higher than current levels.

Competition in the cloud between Amazon, the market leader, and No. 2 Microsoft has been heating up in recent years. The pandemic has intensified the fight as companies accelerate their shift to the cloud and make vendor choices that could last for years. At the same time, military and intelligence agencies are ramping up spending on a range of space projects.

 

From The Wall Street Journal
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