Microsoft Surpasses Amazon as Largest Windows Hosting Company: Netcraft

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Microsoft has surpassed Amazon to become the largest Windows hosting company, according to a report by Netcraft released on Wednesday.

According to Netcraft, Microsoft and Amazon have been hovering around the same number of web-facing Windows computers for nine months. Microsoft has squeaked ahead with 23,400 computers versus Amazon’s 22,600.

The Windows hosting market is extremely fragmented and Amazon and Microsoft have just over one percent of the market each, respectively.

Microsoft can chalk up its leadership in this area to the growth of Windows Azure, its public cloud platform which Netcraft said now accounts for nearly 90 percent of all web-facing computers at Microsoft.

Microsoft services including Office 365, Xbox Live, Skype and OneDrive are among its own services supported by Azure.

“With over one percent of all Windows web-facing computers in the world hosted at Azure, Microsoft is now defeating the Windows hosting providers which it still partners with, and which four years ago would have been its sole revenue source in the hosting market,” Netcraft said in its report.

According to Netcraft, more than half of all web-facing Azure computers (52 percent) are hosted with the US. Its Europe West region in the Netherlands is the most populated Azure region in the world, accounting for 20 percent of all web-facing Azure computers. Asia Pacific accounts for 12 percent of Azure web-facing computers.

Netcraft said that Windows Server is used by 90 percent of all web-facing computers at Azure, including three computers using Windows Server 2003, which will no longer be supported as of April.

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