Microsoft confirms plans for new cloud regions in Germany, Switzerland, UAE

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Last year, the Redmond, Washington-based company announced it was building new data centers in South Africa, from which it planned to serve cloud customers in the Middle East by 2018. Businesses operating in France now have the option to buy on-demand computing resources from Microsoft's Azure unit and also subscribe to its Office 365 workplace software, delivered from the cloud data center. Microsoft faces tough competition in the cloud arena, and ensuring that customers can get access to compute resources where they're most convenient is critical to staying competitive with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and other firms. That followed a few quarters of slower investment as Microsoft filled data centers it had already built.

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The two new regions will help provide companies with enterprise-grade reliability combined with data residency within Germany. Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be available in early 2019.

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The types of worldwide companies that want to store data within their country while using cloud services tend to be heavily regulated companies like insurance providers, financial services firms, and healthcare companies, he explained. The company's engagement with financial institutions and regulators in Switzerland, for example, has resulted in a deeper understanding of the local market, ultimately resulting in Microsoft's intent to be the first global cloud operator to introduce cloud regions in the country - specifically in Geneva and Zurich.

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It can be cheaper and easier to deal with existing regulatory requirements if cloud-computing companies choose to lease and operate in existing data center facilities while also partnering with local companies. That movement is just getting going within the mature tech economies of the world, and probably will take some time to reach emerging tech economies, but we might see emerging economics adopt new technologies more quickly than their counterparts in the USA or Europe simply because they don't have any legacy baggage to overcome.

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