Due to the overwhelming number of options when it comes to professional hosting solutions, it should come as no surprise that this particular niche within the larger technology industry is one of the most competitive. A recent study released by Netcraft shows that Microsoft is locked in a fiercely competitive struggle with rival Amazon in order to determine which of these two heavyweights will dominate the Windows hosting arena.
That being said, the relative “dominance” of Windows hosting within the larger marketplace is actually quite small. It is currently estimated that Windows and Amazon each hold roughly 1% of total market worth. In more practical numbers, the situation could be explained as followed: Windows currently has just over 23,000 “Windows-facing” systems, while Amazon operates at just under 23,000. Many credit the recent surge in Window’s presence in the hosting marketplace to Microsoft’s Azure Web Sites service, which became available for general consumer usage in June 2013. The Azure Web Sites service includes an array of flexible compatibility options, allowing users working with applications developed in ASP, ASP.Net, PHP, and others to quickly implement them within a scaling platform and avoid having to manage computers individually.
Many believe that Microsoft has significant room for expansion, a fact that has not been ignored by investors and market analysts. The most viable room for expansion is considered to be in Europe and Asia, where the company has a notably larger presence and popularity than Amazon.
Both Microsoft and Amazon deploy unique marketing strategies in order to woo potential customers away from their competitor. While Amazon champions a “low-cost” solution for hosting, Microsoft has continually stayed within breathing distance of Amazon’s price points while simultaneously billing themselves as a higher-quality provider. As it stands, both companies remain firmly entrenched in the struggle for web supremacy, a fact which many market experts believe is the perfect environment for customers interested in purchasing a hosting product. Price wars have historically culminated in highly advantageous offers for savvy customers following market trends. It will be interesting to observe whether a similar situation results from this particular “feud.”