As Microsoft began to realize its entire cloud service was offline Thursday, executive vice president Scott Guthrie was comparing his Cloud and AI Group to the Boston Red Sox.
Guthrie made the comment during a lunch with reporters in San Francisco Thursday, as reported by Axios’ Ina Fried in her morning newsletter, in response to yet another big-business media article praising Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for turning Microsoft’s fortunes around. In that article, Bloomberg quotes an anonymous Amazon Web Services executive opining that AWS is like the New York Yankees of cloud computing, while Microsoft is the Minnesota Twins.
Ignoring the unfair jab at the first-place Minnesota Twins, who will take the best record in the American League into the Bronx tonight for a weekend series with the Yankees, the first part of that anonymous observation is accurate. AWS has dominated the early stages of cloud computing, and while it’s a little hard to compare cloud-computing accomplishments to World Series titles, both AWS and the Yankees have more than anyone else. (And fanbases that will never let anyone forget it.)
Comparing Microsoft to the Red Sox right now, however, probably should be avoided. It’s very early days in cloud computing, not unlike the 1950s when the Yankees were winning everything in sight and the Red Sox were still wandering along a 96-year-journey between championships, with even more heartbreaking losses to come before finally emerging on top.
Microsoft won’t be a trillion-dollar company for long if it takes it 50 more years to start catching up to AWS. The next time somebody floats a sports-rivalry metaphor his way comparing AWS and Microsoft, Guthrie might want to remember his computer science degree from Duke and compare AWS to North Carolina.
Although, he certainly does have the right color wardrobe for Boston.