Microsoft GM: We Are Investing More In Data Centers Than $10 Billion Annual R&D Budget

Microsoft General Manager George Taylor told 113 IT executives Tuesday that the software giant is now spending more building out Azure data centers than it does on its $10 billion annual R&D budget.

"The investment we are making in data centers is stunning," said Taylor in a keynote address at solution provider GreenPages' CloudScape 2015 conference at the Sheraton Harborside in Portsmouth, N.H.

"We used to invest about $10 billion in research per year, which we still do. Our data center investments are more than that. It is unbelievable," Taylor said. "I would have never thought that years ago. And they keep growing."

[Related: GreenPages CEO Dupler: Cloud Computing Race Hits Record Speed With Some Set To Crash]

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The big spending has given the $86.83 billion software giant the leading position in what Taylor called the hyper-cloud "arms race" against Amazon Web Services and Google.

In fact, Taylor said, Microsoft now has data centers in 19 regions, more than Amazon Web Services and Google combined, with plans to to add five more regions to that list.

"It is crazy," he said. "We continue to pour money into data centers."

Microsoft is growing its data center footprint by 10 times annually, said Taylor. "You have to continually innovate," he said. "You have to continually redevelop not only your code, but the security practices and how you do that. It is amazing. It is breakneck speed."

Microsoft is adding more than 90,000 Azure customer subscriptions each month, said Taylor, with 1.4 million SQL databases in Azure, 475 million Azure active directory users and 3,200 Azure MarketPlace Applications.

GreenPages LogicsOne Chief Technology Officer Chris Ward said he views Microsoft's data center investments as an investment in the future. He said Microsoft has the financial muscle and stability to assure that customers have a secure enterprise-grade cloud with Azure.

The Microsoft cloud offensive is paying off in big sales for GreenPages, said Ward. "Our Microsoft business is growing at an astronomical clip," he said. "It's insane."