Microsoft wins battle for Boeing in war with AWS

Boeing’s decision to run its aviation analytics applications on the Azure cloud computing software is a big win for Microsoft, which is chasing Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the high-stakes race to sell computing, storage and other infrastructure software over the internet. The aerospace giant based its choice largely on Microsoft’s willingness to help it develop applications to serve its 300 airline customers, which are starved for ways to optimize fuel efficiency and better manage fleets.

“The combination of technical acumen and depth, as well as where they’re investing and how they’re addressing the business customer, really matched up with our objectives,” says Andrew Gendreau, director of advanced information solutions at Boeing’s digital aviation unit. He tells CIO.com that Microsoft also impressed with its commitment to advancing its Cortana analytics and internet of things suites as well as augmented reality, which could play a big factor modeling aviation modeling.

[ Related: Google Glass takes flight at Boeing ]

That even a division within a large enterprise would standardize on Azure shows just how far the platform has come in a few years. AWS grabbed an early lead in corporate cloud infrastructure a decade ago as developers began consuming its elastic storage and compute services. With AWS proving reliable and cost-effective, developers sung AWS’ praises, boasting that the capability to spin up and shut down servers at will made application development more nimble. AWS soon began attracting larger corporate customers, notably Netflix, Capital One, Pfizer and the CIA.