Microsoft taking data-center race into Africa

|By:, SA News Editor

Microsoft (MSFT +0.6%) is staking out new territory in the data-center race with plans to open two big facilities in Africa next year.

Those are set for Johannesburg and Cape Town, and will support the company's Azure business.

It will be the first of the big three cloud competitors (which include Amazon.com (AMZN +1.3%) and Google (GOOG +0.9%, GOOGL +0.7%)) to build data centers of that size on the continent.

Customers in the market include Standard Bank of South Africa as well as the country's State Information Technology Agency, the WSJ notes. IDC estimates Africa's total cloud revenue (at $243M last year) to grow near 20% a year over the next five.