An amicus brief has been filed in a case between Microsoft and the U.S. Justice Department over a matter concerning privacy of e-communications with regards to a 2013 drug case. In a drug investigation federal agents obtained a warrant which directed the Redmond, Washington-based software giant to hand over all the emails it had for its customer who was being investigated. Microsoft handed over the emails which were housed in the United States but declined to turn over the ones that were stored in Dublin, Ireland.
The amicus brief has been filed by foreign trade federations and these include French Business Federation, Polish Confederation Lewiatan, Ireland’s Ibec, Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Federation of German Industries.
The filing of the Amicus brief in the Microsoft case comes in the wake of a KeyBanc research note indicating that the largest software maker in the world continues to gain momentum with regards to its cloud business. According to analysts at KeyBanc, Microsoft Azure’s market share in Q4 rose to 20% from 16% as the market share of Amazon Web Services declined from 68% to 62%. Per KeyBank the contribution of Azure to the 2017 revenues of Microsoft was approximately $3.7 billion. This year KeyBanc analysts expected the revenue growth of Azure to slow to 88%.
With regards to artificial intelligence tools, KeyBanc analysts observed that Microsoft possessed more pre-built models compared to other vendors and that these tools were made available from more facilities spread across the globe. Based on the growth of Azure and the opportunities that Microsoft has in artificial intelligence KeyBanc analysts have 12-month price target of the software maker to $106 per share from $94.
Always Connected PC
“After our conversations with leaders at Microsoft, we came away believing the majority of revenue will come from the surrounding infrastructure costs, rather than the monetization of specific AI services, due to the required intensive model training and ongoing inference,” KeyBanc analysts wrote in their research note.
With more computing functions being carried out on the cloud, Microsoft has indicated at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that its LTE-enabled Surface pro is heralding a future where the battery life of laptops will be 20 hours and where there will be no need for WiFi connections since cellular internet connections are getting faster. Microsoft is calling it the ACPC – Always Connected PC. Among the device manufacturers that are partnering with Microsoft in ensuring this reality includes Lenovo which released the Miix 630 ACPC at this year’s CES.