Microsoft is ready to compete with Amazon in providing services for connecting satellites to the cloud computing network.
The Federal Communications Commission has even granted permission to the company last month.
Now Microsoft needs to give a brief demonstration of the services that will connect Azure with a ground station. If everything goes fine, Amazon will have some competition in the market.
Microsoft connecting satellites to the cloud
Microsoft has obviously decided to improve its services and currently plans to open two ground stations in Washington.
According to the FCC documents, it will connect a Spanish imaging satellite to both its ground stations. This is to show that they can download the satellite data directly to “Azure Cloud for immediate processing”.
Microsoft has also put forward a proposal to establish one of its two ground stations in Quincy, Washington at its data centre.
A ground station is a connecting link which enables the transmitting of data to and from the satellites.
A proof-of-concept demonstration
On September 2, the FCC asked Microsoft to perform a proof-of-concept demonstration of the services that they will be providing.
A proof-of-concept demonstration, as you might already be knowing, is a brief demonstration which proves if the proposed experiment has some potential.
FCC has already given Microsoft the authorization for six months which allow them communications and imagery data download.
The Spanish satellite used in this is called Deimos-2. A subsidiary of UrtheCast, a Canadian satellite imagery company operates this satellite. It will, therefore, be allowed in the range of Microsoft’s antennas for a few minutes for the sake of the demonstration.
Competition With Amazon Web Services
This is obviously a tough competition for Amazon Web Services which, at the moment, leads the cloud-computing market.
Let’s have a look at the statistics to know who stands where in this fast-growing market. As of 2019, Amazon had a 45% share while Microsoft followed with 18%. Other cloud providers like Alibaba, Tencent and Google have less than 10% share.
Now after providing services for connecting satellites to the cloud computing network, Microsoft is going to set foot in the territory of Amazon.
For Microsoft, it’s also important to be in the race because Amazon’s cloud services are growing faster than Microsoft’s services like Windows.
Notably, Jet Propulsion Lab of NASA and other companies like Capella Space, Myriota, Thales Alenia Space and Spire Global use the AWS services.