An increasing number of businesses opt to host their digital solutions in the cloud—i.e. off premises and on servers via the Internet. This provides increased security, uptime, and redundancy, and reduces the caveats and responsibilities of hosting digital experience platforms by yourselves.

But how do you navigate the cloud? What factors are essential to consider? Here is an overview of the largest and most renowned cloud vendors today: Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.

Basic facts


Initial release

2018 revenue

Main target audience


Google Cloud Platform

7 April 2008

$8 billion (source)


GCP documentation, GCP FAQ

Microsoft Azure

1 February 2010

$11 billion

Startups to multinationals (esp. with Windows Server deployment)

Azure documentation

Amazon Web Services

July 2002

$25.65 billion

Small to large

AWS documentation, AWS FAQs


The number of geographies and zones where a cloud service is available is a fundamental requirement for any business. For local and national businesses the matter is simple enough, but for multinational corporations and member firm associations it is another matter entirely.

We recommend you to do thorough research on explicit geographical availability, and for legal purposes to find out exactly where data is stored. We have, however, made a preliminary overview of the availability situation as of fall 2019:



No. of countries

Google Cloud Platform

North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia (details)

200+ (includes territories)

Microsoft Azure

North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa (details)


Amazon Web Services

North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa (details)

206 (details)

Read also: Microservices: What does it mean for your digital project success?


One of the most important drivers behind decision making processes is testimonials. Real and factual reviews from customers and peers are a goldmine for prospects.

We have gathered a combination of associated brands and review repositories for you to easily get an overview of the three cloud vendors.


Associated brands


Google Cloud Platform

Target, 20th Century Fox, Twitter, American Cancer Society, PayPal, Bloomberg, Nielsen, McKesson (details)

Gartner, PCMag, G2, Capterra

Microsoft Azure

Coca Cola, Adobe, FedEx, Samsung, BMW, Siemens, Toyota, Maersk, Walmart, Reuters, Intel, 3M (details)

Gartner, PCMag, G2, Capterra

Amazon Web Services

Verizon, Siemens, Canon, HTC, Pitney Bowes, Sprinklr, Autodesk, National Australia Bank, Domain Group (details)

Gartner, PCMag, G2, Capterra

PCMag rates all three cloud vendors as “excellent.” The magazine states that Google Cloud Platform smoothly provides several powerful cloud services, including infrastructure, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. The pricing is reasonable and usage spike handling is excellent, but there are fewer data centers and software options than the competition.

As for Microsoft Azure, the cloud vendor is hailed as a viable solution for businesses that have built their computing infrastructure around Windows. However, there is Linux and container compatibility and a user-friendly front-end management interface. But both the performance and pricing are criticized.

Amazon Web Services is also the editors’ choice at PCMag, who states that there’s almost nothing the flexible cloud vendor cannot do, no service they cannot run, and few operating systems they do not support. Setup and management is easy and intuitive, but it can be expensive and the array of services can get confusing and messy.


Cost related to cloud computing can be difficult to predict, as David Mytton from Seedcamp writes on Medium. Accordingly, none of the cloud vendors feature a straightforward pricing model. However, they supply calculators that can help you on the way, and you could also request quotes based on the requirements of your organization. Also, as all the vendors provide free tiers and trials, your developers can safely test performance.



Google Cloud Platform

Microsoft Azure

Amazon Web Services

Don’t miss: Translating technology into business value »


At the end we will include general cloud computing statistics, courtesy of Hosting Tribunal:

  • 90% of companies are on the cloud
  • Amazon Web Services is the leading cloud vendor with a 32% market share
  • Cloud data centers will process 94% of workloads in 2021
  • The US is the most significant public cloud market with an expected spending of $124.6 billion in 2019
  • The global cloud computing market is expected to reach $623.3 billion by 2023
  • Cloud infrastructure spending surpassed $80 billion in 2018

As a final note, ZDNet has a useful article detailing the largest cloud vendors, their financial performance, and a short outline for each dealing with recent history and future predictions.

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