For what appears to be the first time Thursday, Google publicly revealed how much revenue it is generating from its cloud businesses, and it’s a nice round number.
“Google Cloud, which includes Google Cloud Platform and G Suite, has reached meaningful scale. I’m excited to share today that it’s already a billion dollar per quarter business,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, during parent company Alphabet’s fourth-quarter earnings call. He said that based on their calculations, that number makes Google “the fastest-growing major cloud provider in the world.”
That conclusion will raise a few eyebrows at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, but in any event, one of the reasons Google is growing so quickly is because it trails its competitors in the cloud market by a significant margin. New market share estimates will probably come out tomorrow, but last year Gartner estimated that Google had $500 million in Google Cloud Platform revenue during 2016, compared to Amazon Web Services, which had $9.8 billion, and Microsoft, which had $1.6 billion.
Earlier today Amazon Web Services reported $5.1 billion in revenue during its fourth quarter, and that’s just from its public cloud infrastructure business. Microsoft’s commercial cloud revenue, which includes Azure and G Suite competitor Office 365, was $5.3 billion in the fourth quarter, and it said Azure revenue grew 98 percent.
Until Microsoft and Google break out Azure and Google Cloud Platform revenue, it’s hard to make proper comparisons between the big three cloud providers, which probably doesn’t bother Microsoft and Google very much. Still, the entire market is still growing at a strong clip, which might make the two companies’ infrastructure cloud revenue numbers material sooner rather than later.