Microsoft Azure has reportedly become more popular than AWS. Popularity is rising among both light, moderate and heavy cloud users.

The trend is apparent from a recent survey by Flexera. According to the survey, Azure surpassed AWS in popularity. 80 percent of respondents said they started using Azure, compared to 77 percent for AWS. In the previous year, the scales tipped in favour of AWS.

Google Cloud’s public cloud environment came third with 48 percent, followed by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) at number four (27 percent). Oracle scored slightly higher in 2020, when the percentage stood at 32 percent.

Low and medium usage

The survey also shows that Microsoft Azure is of particular interest to end users who use public cloud environments on a light to moderate basis. These types of customers are now more likely to choose Azure over AWS.

For heavy use of cloud services, AWS remains king. AWS stayed the most popular for small and medium-sized enterprises. Within this market segment, AWS is preferred by 69 percent. Azure stands at 59 percent, while Oracle rose to 28 percent.

Reason for popularity of Azure

Flexera reasons that Azure’s popularity is due to the demand for Microsoft 365. In addition, its public cloud environment seems to be favoured by companies taking their first steps into the cloud. Google, on the other hand, is favoured by advanced companies looking to experiment.

Other survey results

Additionally, the survey shows that companies have three objections to using public cloud environments. First, there’s the knowledge barrier. Second and third, respondents named security and management burdens. Unsurprisingly, the respondents would like to see their cloud expenses lowered.

Lastly, Flexera surveyed organizations using private cloud solutions to run their workloads. Microsoft’s Azure Stack scored the highest, followed by VMware vSphere. The use of OpenStack declined over the past year.