Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) and SpaceX have partnered to connect the Azure cloud computing network to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service. The company launched the Azure Space initiative, which is a suite of products that will position Azure as an important player in the space-satellite connectivity sector.
Microsoft partners with SpaceX to extend Azure capabilities
According to Microsoft Azure Global, the partnership with SpaceX, a leader in the space community, will help extend the use of azure capabilities. This will include global satellite connectivity and also help in unblocking cloud computing for more uses. It will also empower Azure’s partners and clients to achieve more.
Starlink is an ambitious plan from SpaceX for building an interconnected internet network with several satellites. It has been designed to offer high-speed internet in various places across the planet. Gwynne Shotwell said that the partnership with Microsoft Azure will help the company in delivering new offerings for the private and public sectors. This will bring connectivity to customers via Starlink for use on Microsoft Azure. Shotwell said it makes sense in collaborating with Microsoft in co-selling to mutual customers and new customers and enterprises.
Starlink satellites offering coverage in remote areas
So far, SpaceX has launched more than 800 Starlink satellites, which is a small percentage of the total satellites required for global coverage. However, these satellites are adequate to start offering services in places such as in the northwest US. SpaceX is currently conducting a private beta test for the offering and has been working with organizations in remote areas of Washington state to offer satellite internet.
This partnership is part of Microsoft’s expansion to the space sector. It comes just weeks after the company launched Azure Orbital to connect satellites directly to the cloud. Azure orbital and the SpaceX partnership positions the companies to compete with Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS cloud business. Amazon is also working with Starlink’s competitor, called Kuiper, and Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin.