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Microsoft is cutting back on refreshing its data center hardware

Move could save Microsoft millions, but will it affect development?

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Microsoft has announced that it wants to extend the lifespan of its cloud servers from four years to six years. 

In a recent earnings call, Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, said she believes the move could save the tech giant $3.7 billion in its 2023 financial year alone, and around $1.1 billion in the first quarter.

This is likely unwelcome news for firms such as Intel, AMD, and Ampere, which make millions every year supplying the hardware fueling Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure.

Why the move?

Hood attributed the changing speed of the updates to investments in its software “that increased efficiencies in how we operate our server and network equipment as well as advances in technology have resulted in lives extending beyond historical accounting useful lives”.

Microsoft isn’t the only big tech firm that is currently extending the life cycles of its hardware.

Both Amazon Web Services and Google both added another year to the lifecycle of their cloud infrastructures in February 2022. 

Anything that helps Microsoft deal with the surging demand for cloud hosting may be welcome news. 

Technology news website The Information reported that two dozen Azure data centers internationally are operating with limited capacity (opens in new tab), citing two Microsoft managers with knowledge of the issue.

It’s not all doom and gloom for data center hardware providers, however, with Meta just one of the big tech firms pouring money into new data centers.

The firm spent $7.7 billion on capital expenditure in its latest quarter, with data center-related investments representing a pretty big chunk of the spending.

Via The Register (opens in new tab)

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