Microsoft has revealed it is now interested in Europe’s Gaia X cloud project despite previously showing disinterest. The apparent 180-degree change would put Microsoft in line with other major cloud providers who have embraced Gaia X.
That was certainly not the case in October when the public cloud platform was announced. Indeed, Microsoft went against the general industry consensus by not showing interest in participating in the project.
German Minister of Economics, Peter Altmaier (CDU) proposed improving digital infrastructure in Europe for a universal public cloud called Gaia X. At the time, Microsoft Germany CEO Sabine Bendiek believed the project would take too long. She argued developing a consistent cloud infrastructure across the European Union would lead to mistakes.
However, it seems Bendiek has changed her mind after reading Germany’s concept paper for Gaia X.
There are “many correct approaches and also invites market participants outside Europe to participate,” writes Bendiek in a guest article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Tuesday. “That is why we have officially registered our interest in participating with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.”
In other words, Microsoft now wants a seat at the table. That was not the case before. Indeed, when a directory of companies and groups working on Gaia X was published earlier this month, Microsoft was absent. Interestingly, Redmond’s main cloud rivals, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google were included.
In fact, over 60 organizations made up the working groups list, among them IBM, SAP, BMW, Red Hat, and more. Microsoft was conspicuous by its absence. Bendiek is now singing from a different hymn sheet to the one she had when she dismissed Gaia X in October.
She now argues, “partnerships are still the key to digital innovation” and points to “fair and equal competitive conditions and the affirmation of free competition among all players in the market.”
Now the Microsoft Germany chief says it is technically viable to create viable public cloud infrastructure despite the obvious risks of attack.
It is worth noting, there is no official confirmation that Microsoft is now an active player in Gaia X. However, it is clear that if the company is now part of the working group, it now wants to be.