Office 365 and Windows Azure Come to China

 Today, I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft is bringing its premier public cloud technologies-Office 365 and Windows Azure-to China.  Although we’ve offered Microsoft productivity software in China for decades, this represents our first, big step towards making multi-tenant public cloud services available to millions of businesses in China.

We believe customers should have a choice in how and when they move to the cloud.  In China, we will meet the requirements of customers by delivering Office 365 in two ways: 

  • Services operated by 21Vianet in China. Today, we’ve signed a landmark agreement to license Microsoft technologies to 21Vianet, who will operate and offer Office 365 and Windows Azure services in China. We’ve also signed a memorandum with the municipality of Shanghai, where 21Vianet is locating a major datacenter for these services. This option will provide a consistent Office 365 experience while meeting the demands of customers who prefer to use online services provided by a local company that stores their data within China. These services will be subject to Chinese laws.
  • Services operated by Microsoft. For Chinese customers who prefer to use services managed and delivered by Microsoft itself, we’ll provide Office 365 from Microsoft datacenters in Singapore and Hong Kong. These services will be subject to the laws of Singapore or Hong Kong.

The Shanghai government also announced today that it will adopt both the Office 365 and Windows Azure services from 21Vianet once they are available.  

There is strong demand for secure, reliable and scalable public cloud services in China — a recent Forrester Research report on cloud computing (Forrester Research, Sizing The Cloud Markets In Asia Pacific, Feb. 3, 2012) found that Chinese organizations are beginning to mobilize around the cloud. “The public cloud market in China will grow from $297 million in 2011 to $3.8 billion in 2020. The three segments of the virtual private cloud market will grow from $44 million in 2011 to $1.6 billion in 2020. The unparalleled economic growth in China will certainly help spur strong cloud market growth in China across most cloud segments through 2020.” We’re excited to bring our commercial cloud services to market in China and serve the productivity needs of local businesses.  

Julia White

General Manager, Microsoft Office Division