Vole has a problem in flogging cloud based products because many users are worried that they are effectively giving their data to the US government.
Top Vole Satya Nadella believes he has devised a formula that will hand US internet and cloud computing companies a new lease of life in Europe.
He has announced moves to build new data centres in Germany under a “trustee” model. The new facilities will house Microsoft customer information, but will be operated by a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, the German telecoms group.
What this will do is put data beyond the reach of the US government — after all the Germans can be trusted not to hand over anything to the Americans.
Nadella said this means that Microsoft is adopting gold-plated privacy standards, while showing a path forward for other US cloud companies including Google, Oracle and Amazon.
He said he is merely responding to the reality that the original vision of the global “public cloud” is dead. This imagined individuals and companies being able to access their data anywhere in the world from any device, but with big tech groups building the underlying infrastructure wherever they were able to most cheaply and efficiently.
Paul Miller of Forrester Research has warned that many will see the move as proof that American companies cannot be trusted to hold the most sensitive data of European customers.
“That was a mythical way to think about it. In technology, sometimes you over-emphasise the silver bullet….” he says. The cloud “will take a different shape than it has in the past. That’s what we want to shape.”