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Microsoft challenges Amazon on satellite cloud computing, CNBC reports

New York, 14 September 2020. – Microsoft is challenging Amazon in using satellites for cloud connectivity, CNBC reported on 11 September.

Microsoft is looking to challenge Amazon in offering a service that connects satellites directly to the company’s cloud computing network, according to documents the company filed with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last month, CNBC’s space reporter Michael Sheetz reported.

“The effort shows how the two largest providers of cloud infrastructure — data centers in far-flung places that can host websites and run applications with a smorgasbord of computing and storage services — regularly seek to one-up each other,” CNBC said. “That way, the companies can appear ready and willing to meet many of the needs of prospective customers.”

“Microsoft plans to connect a Spanish imaging satellite to two ground stations — both located in Microsoft’s home state of Washington — to show that it can directly download satellite ‘data to the Azure Cloud for immediate processing’,” the FCC documents said according to CNBC. “A ground station, sometimes called an earth station, is the vital link for transmitting data to and from satellites in orbit. Microsoft notably proposed to construct one of the two ground stations itself at its data center” in Quincy, Washington.

CNBC cited a Microsoft filing to the FCC according to which “Microsoft wants to run the demonstrations before, during and after its Ignite conference for IT professionals, which starts on Sept. 22.”

Microsoft declined CNBC’s request for comment, CNBC said.

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