AWS SVP accuses Microsoft of unfair licensing practices

AWS SVP accuses Microsoft of unfair licensing practices

Matt Garman, Senior Vice President of sales and marketing at AWS, wrote a LinkedIn blog accusing Microsoft of unfair licensing practices. According to Garman, Microsoft isn’t out to help customers, but to please regulators instead.

The AWS SVP claims that Microsoft solely adjusted its licences to satisfy regulators. Reportedly, the tech giant still makes it cheaper to run its software in Azure than in other public cloud environments.

Some Microsoft licences are cheapest when customers make long-term commitments to run their software on Azure. Furthermore, the tech giant bundles its products with long-term support for customers that use the Azure cloud.

Smoke and mirrors

Earlier this year, several European cloud providers contacted the European Commission with complaints about Microsoft’s licenses. In response, Microsoft promised to allow customers to transfer their Microsoft cloud products to third-party clouds without problems. All in all, Microsoft vowed to give European cloud companies more room to compete wth Microsoft 365.

However, according to Garman, it’s all smoke and mirrors. “Cosmetic”, as he puts it. Microsoft’s new conditions reportedly only apply to a small number of providers selected by Microsoft. According to Garman, the selection mainly consists of cloud companies that Microsoft does not deem a threat.

The AWS SVP finds this unfair. Garman states that the licensing policy doesn’t just apply to Europe, but to the whole world. According to him, many customers struggle with unnecessary costs.


The LinkedIn post is remarkable because AWS has never used this medium to attack competitors in the past. Although AWS is no stranger to activism, it typically uses press releases or proprietary blogs to take a stance. Garman’s post received just over a thousand likes.