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Microsoft's bet on blockchain

In this image, a phone is held up to the camera with the Microsoft logo displayed. Strings of code are seen behind the phone.
Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

While not the earliest to beat the blockchain drum, Microsoft is starting to embrace the distributed ledger technology, both inside the company and for its customers.

What's new: The company on Thursday announced a new blockchain service for Azure and a partnership with JP Morgan Chase. Amazon's AWS also announced a blockchain service this week.

  • At a lunch with reporters, cloud executive Scott Guthrie said that blockchain use has picked up, especially in areas like tracking products throughout a lifecycle or when multiple entities are working together.
  • "Having a distributed general ledger of just yourself is not that compelling," he said.

Meanwhile: Guthrie took issue with an anonymous former Amazon executive quoted in an otherwise flattering Bloomberg BusinessWeek cover story on Microsoft who said Azure was the Minnesota Twins compared to AWS, which was likened to the New York Yankees.

  • "If they want to claim they are the Yankees, I'd like to claim we are the Red Sox," he said. "Obviously we are the two big cloud competitors."

Go deeper: Why Microsoft is winning the Big Tech backlash